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Pfizer beats forecasts as oncology drugs grow

Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Pfizer, which in May officially abandoned its bid to buy British rival AstraZeneca, reported higher-than-expected second-quarter revenue, helped by growing demand for its cancer medicines.

Read MoreMerck posts earnings beat

The largest U.S. drugmaker on Tuesday said it had earned $2.91 billion, or 45 cents per share. That compared with $14.1 billion, or $1.98 per share, a year earlier, when Pfizer received more than $10 billion in proceeds from the spinoff of its animal health business into a new publicly traded company, Zoetis.

Excluding special items, Pfizer earned 58 cents per share. Analysts on average expected 57 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sales fell 2 percent to $12.77 billion, hurt by declines for generic medicines that Pfizer calls established products, but they exceeded Wall Street expectations of $12.46 billion.

Pfizer stuck to its prior earnings forecast of $2.20 to $2.30 per share for the full year.

Shares of Pfizer were up 1 percent at $30.41 in trading before the market opened. (Get the latest quotes for Pfizer.)

—By Reuters

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