Pfizer beats on earnings, but revenue misses as Covid product sales plummet


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Pfizer on Tuesday reported second-quarter adjusted earnings that topped Wall Street’s expectations, but posted revenue that fell short of estimates as Covid product sales plunged.

Pfizer reported second-quarter sales of $12.73 billion, down 54% from the same period a year ago.

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The company’s Covid vaccine raked in $1.49 billion in sales, down 83% from the year-ago quarter. Pfizer’s Covid antiviral pill Paxlovid posted $143 million in revenue, a drop of 98%.

Together, the products pulled in $1.6 billion in revenue for the quarter. That compares with roughly $17 billion in sales during the same period a year ago.

The decline isn’t a surprise. Pfizer and rival drugmakers like Moderna have seen a steep drop in Covid-related sales this year as the world emerges from the pandemic and relies less on blockbuster vaccines and treatments that help protect against the virus.

Here’s how Pfizer results compared with Wall Street expectations, based on a survey of analysts by Refinitiv:

  • Earnings per share: 67 cents per share adjusted, vs. 57 cents per share expected
  • Revenue: $12.73 billion, vs. $13.27 billion expected

Pfizer booked net income of $2.33 billion, or 41 cents per share. That fell from $9.91 billion, or $1.73 per share, during the same period a year ago. 

Excluding certain items, the company’s earnings per share were 67 cents per share for the quarter. 

Looking ahead, the New York-based company narrowed its 2023 sales forecast to $67 billion to $70 billion, from a previous forecast of $67 billion to $71 billion. 

Pfizer reiterated its full-year adjusted earnings outlook of $3.25 to $3.45 per share.

The company expects Covid-related sales to decline for the year. Pfizer reaffirmed its forecast of $13.5 billion in Covid vaccine sales in 2023 and $8 billion in revenue for Paxlovid.

Pfizer noted that guidance for the products is based on both existing supply contracts with governments and sales from the commercial market in the U.S. The company will start selling Covid-related products directly to health-care providers this fall. 

Pfizer’s stock price fell less than 1% in premarket trading. The company’s shares have dropped nearly 30% this year, putting Pfizer’s market value at roughly $203 billion.

Other drug products

Pfizer is in a transition period as it navigates a post-pandemic world. The company is pinning its hopes on mergers and acquisitions and a record pipeline to pivot to new areas of growth. 

Excluding Covid products, drugs from recently acquired companies largely fueled revenue. 

Those sales include Biohaven Pharmaceuticals migraine drug Nurtec ODT and Global Blood Therapeutics’ sickle cell disease treatment Oxbryta, which drew in $247 million and $77 million, respectively.

The company said revenue was also driven by strong sales of Vyndaqel drugs, which are used to treat a certain type of cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle. Those drugs booked $782 million in sales, up 42% from the second quarter of 2022.

Other drugs weighed on revenue, however. 

Inflectra, a monoclonal antibody used to treat a range of inflammatory autoimmune diseases, posted $74 million in sales. That total fell 46% from the same period a year ago. 

Pfizer’s Ibrance, which treats a certain type of breast cancer, posted $1.24 billion in sales, down 6% from a year ago. 

Investors are eager for executives to provide updates on Pfizer’s several near-term drug launches, which CEO Albert Bourla said in May will help grow non-Covid revenues “at a faster rate” during the second half of the year.

That includes Pfizer’s vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus and its updated Covid shot – both of which are slated to roll out during the third quarter.

Executives are also likely to be asked about the company’s $43 billion acquisition of cancer therapy maker Seagen – a deal Pfizer believes could contribute more than $10 billion in risk-adjusted sales by 2030. 

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission asked Pfizer and Seagen for more information on their proposed merger during the second quarter. The move came as the agency cracks down on similar deals in the pharmaceutical industry. 

Executives will also likely to address the tornado that hit Pfizer’s major plant in North Carolina after the company told hospitals last month that more than 30 drugs may see new supply disruptions due to the damage.

Pfizer will hold a conference call at 10 a.m. ET on Tuesday. 

This article was originally published on CNBC