Oncology Drugs Give Pfizer 3Q Boost

Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) reported stronger-than-expected third-quarter earnings on Tuesday as certain patented and oncology treatments performed above expectations, however sales continued to decline for its blockbuster Lipitor and Viagra drugs.

The New York-based pharmaceutical giant reported net income of $2.59 million, or 39 cents a share, down from a year-earlier profit of $3.2 billion, or 43 cents.

Excluding one-time items, Pfizer said it earned 58 cents, topping average analyst estimates in a Thomson Reuters poll by two pennies.

Revenue for the three-month period was $12.6 billion, down about 2% from $12.9 billion a year ago, narrowly missing the Street’s view of $12.7 billion.

Shares of Pfizer were slightly lower in early trade around $30.68.

Sales declines were recorded in its specialty and primary care business groups, with sales of Lipitor and Viagra falling by 27% and 11%, respectively.

That was partially offset by growth in emerging markets and in its oncology business thanks to new drugs Inlyta and Xalkori

“We continue to generate solid financial results on an operational basis, despite the impact of product losses of exclusivity and the ongoing expiration of the Spiriva collaboration in certain countries as well as the challenging operating environment,” Pfizer CEO Ian Read said in a statement.

Patented drugs Lyrica and Celebrex also improved during the quarter, while Eliquis prescription trends started to rebound.

Meanwhile, Pfizer narrowed certain full-year earnings and sales ranges. It now anticipates adjusted earnings per share of $2.15 to $2.20, below its earlier outlook of $2.10 to $2.20 and brackets the consensus view of $2.17 a share.

It sees sales in the range of $50.8 billion to $51.8 billion, with the higher end of the range narrowed from $52.8 billion previously. Analysts on average are calling for fiscal 2013 sales of $51.45 billion.

Pfizer said it plans to report key clinical data read-outs over the next several months that will more clearly “characterize the strength” of its late-stage pipeline.