Pfizer Lifts Revenue, Halting Slide -- WSJ

By Austen Hufford and Jonathan D. Rockoff Features Dow Jones Newswires

This article is being republished as part of our daily reproduction of WSJ.com articles that also appeared in the U.S. print edition of The Wall Street Journal (November 1, 2017).

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Pfizer Inc. revenue rose in its latest quarter as the drugmaker says it has turned a corner and expects more product launches in the next several years combined with fewer drug-exclusivity losses.

Chief Executive Ian Read said in an interview Tuesday that the company is developing 15 drugs that could be approved for sale by regulators by 2022, and each could have sales surpassing $1 billion.

Meanwhile, Pfizer expects about $2 billion in sales losses because of patent expiries and generic competition during each of the next few years, compared with the roughly $5 billion in annual losses the company had been confronting in recent years.

"You get this nice inflection where you have two major positive trends," Chief Financial Officer Frank D'Amelio said in an interview.

Pfizer, based in New York City, had posted three consecutive quarters with revenue declines until the third quarter. The company said revenue rose 0.9% in the most recent quarter to $13.17 billion.

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Cancer-drug Ibrance and blood-thinner Eliquis notched among the quarter's biggest sales gains, while Pfizer said it had begun to feel the impact from a coming exclusivity expiration for male-impotence pill Viagra. Sales of the drug fell 20% to $308 million as wholesalers began destocking the drug in advance of expected generic competition starting in December, the company said.

For the third quarter, Pfizer reported net income of $2.84 billion, or 47 cents a share, compared with $1.36 billion, or 22 cents a share, a year earlier, though Pfizer said much of the favorable impact was because of one-time items such as the sale of an infusion-pump business. On an adjusted basis, earnings were 67 cents a share, up from 61 cents.

Shares in the company fell slightly.

Pfizer cut its revenue outlook for the year but raised its profit guidance. It now expects full-year revenue between $52.4 billion and $53.1 billion, compared with $52 billion and $54 billion previously. It expects adjusted earnings per share between $2.58 and $2.62, up from an earlier forecast of $2.54 and $2.60.

In February, the company completed the sale of its global infusion-therapy assets, known as Hospira Infusion Systems, for about $1 billion.

Pfizer said earlier this month that it was exploring a sale or spinoff of its consumer-health business, which makes Advil cough and cold medicines, Centrum vitamins and other over-the-counter products. The business had $829 million in third-quarter sales, up 4% from a year earlier.

Write to Austen Hufford at austen.hufford@wsj.com and Jonathan D. Rockoff at Jonathan.Rockoff@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 01, 2017 02:47 ET (06:47 GMT)