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Pfizer (PFE) 3Q Earnings Drop As Lipitor Weighs On Revenue, Narrows Forecast

 November 01, 2012 07:25 AM

(By Balachander) Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) posted a fall in quarterly earnings as loss of exclusivity of cholesterol drug Lipitor in the U.S. continued to hurt results and the pharma giant narrowed its forecast for the full year.

Adjusted earnings per share (EPS) declined 12 percent to 53 cents from 60 cents, matching market expectations.

Reported earnings dropped 14 percent to $3.21 billion. Results primarily included a $491 million charge resulting from an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice to resolve a probe into Wyeth's historical promotional practices in connection with Rapamune.

Revenue was $13.98 billion, down 16 percent from $16.61 billion, while analysts expected $14.64 billion. U.S. revenue fell 18 percent, while International revenue declined 14 percent due to the unfavorable impact of foreign exchange.

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"Overall, our results this quarter reflect continued product losses of exclusivity, most notably Lipitor in all major markets," commented CEO Ian Read.

The New York-based pharmaceutical giant's U.S. branded Lipitor revenue tumbled 71 percent for the third quarter. Lipitor lost exclusivity in the U.S. in November 2011 and other markets in 2011 and 2012. This loss of exclusivity reduced branded worldwide revenue by $1.9 billion in the third quarter.

Cost of sales fell 22 percent. Selling, informational and administrative expenses and research and development expenses dropped 14 percent and 9 percent, respectively.

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Looking ahead for the full year, the company now forecasts adjusted EPS in the range of $2.14 to $2.17 on revenue between $58.0 billion and $59.0 billion. Analysts expect EPS of $2.21 on revenue of $59.47 billion. Earlier, Pfizer guided adjusted EPS of $2.12 to $2.22 on revenue of $58.0 billion and $60.0 billion.

In addition, the company has authorized a new $10 billion share buyback plan, upon the sale of the Nutrition(1) business to Nestle, which is now expected to be completed in the next few months.

The stock, which has been trading in the 52-week range between $18.15 and $26.09, ended Wednesday's regular trading at $24.87.

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