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Pfizer's Earnings: Reviews Are In, But Thumbs Up Or Down?

CNBC.com

After yesterday's beat and boost by drug giantPfizer and a late-day rally in the stock, analysts are providing clients their take on the numbers as the shares traded lower in the early going.

Deutsche Bank's Barbara Ryan is keeping her long-standing "Buy" rating on PFE, even though she told me recently she's been "long and wrong" on the stock. In a note to clients this morning, Ryan reiterates her opinion that Pfizer needs to do a big deal. "Some highly bankable revenues must be added," she writes. Nonetheless, Ryan backs up her rating by arguing (the parenthetical comments are mine), "Due to the current high dividend (nearly six percent), and the lack of financial risks to it (Pfizer is loaded with cash), we see limited downside in the shares...."

Bernstein's Tim Anderson is maintaining a "Market Perform" rating on the Dow component. He writes, "On a fundamental basis, PFE continues to look problematic. That said, in the current macroeconomic environment, PFE may represent a comparatively safe-haven and could see at least some share price appreciation."

Catherine Arnold at Credit Suisse has a "Neutral" rating on PFE. She writes, "PFE's outlook remains challenging. We believe that internal development programs are inadequate to remedy the outlook for diminishing future cash flows, and thus future acquisitions remain possible."

Barbara Ryan has repeatedly mentioned Amgen as a sensible takeout target for Pfizer. The biotech giant reports its earnings after the closing bell today.

The company essentially pre-announced its earnings per share earlier this month at the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference--so once again keep an eye on the sales of AMGN's embattled anemia drugs Aranesp and Epogen. And watch for commentary on the status of the company's late-stage experimental drug for osteoporosis known as D-mab.

Deutsche Bank and Bernstein make a market in PFE, own at least one percent of the shares and someone on the Bernstein research team is long PFE. Deutsche also wants to bank Pfizer. Credit Suisse has banked PFE and wants to do it again soon.

Questions? Comments? Pharma@cnbc.com