I'm in the press room at the midtown Manhattan hotel where Pfizer is holding its analyst meeting. There's just over half a dozen reporters here and we're nearly outnumbered by PR folks.
As one of them remarked, the press turnout for an event like this just isn't what it used to be. A lot of reporters, investors and analysts log onto the web cast instead. I'm told around 250 analysts and investors are here.
So far, Wall Street doesn't seem impressed by the press release or the presentation. The beaten-down stock is barely budging in early trading.
Dr. Martin Mackay (pronounced muh-kai), Pfizer's new head of research and development, made perhaps the most candid remark of the morning. In his prepared opening speech he said the situation at Pfizer represents "the R and D challenge of a lifetime."
Chairman and CEO Jeff Kindler spoke at length about the looming patent expiration for Lipitor. He acknowledged the event "is of a different magnitude" and that Pfizer's revenue and earnings will be "meaningfully impacted" by it. But he reiterated the company will right-size itself before, during and after Lipitor goes generic.