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Pfizer's Profit Slightly Tops Forecasts

Pfizer's second-quarter profit slightly exceeded analysts' estimates Wednesday and the company said it has achieved "significant milestones" regarding the pending Wyeth acquisition.

The company's second-quarter results fell 19 percent, as the strong dollar crimped revenue across its product line.

The world's largest drugmaker earned $2.26 billion, or 34 cents per share, compared with $2.78 billion, or 41 cents per share, in the year-earlier period.

Adjusted earnings per share were 48 cents in the second quarter compared with the analysts' consensus estimate of 47 cents. That was down from 55 cents a share in the same period of last year.

Revenue fell 9 percent from the same period a year ago to $10.9 billion, shy of the $11.26 billion estimate, Pfizer said in a statement.

Foreign exchange had an unfavorable impact on revenues of about $1.1 billion or 9 percent, it said.

US revenue was $4.5 billion, a decrease of 5 percent compared with the year-ago quarter.

The drugmaker has been cutting jobs and other costs to shore up profits as its top-selling medicines endure generic competition and other pressures.

It said operational improvements resulting from cost-reduction initiatives lowered adjusted total costs by about 5 percent for the quarter.

"They're a cost-cutting story and the story is beginning to play out, particularly in this quarter," Morningstar analyst Damien Conover said.

Sales of Pfizer's Lipitor cholesterol fighter, which faces competition from generic versions of other cholesterol medicines, fell 10 percent to $2.7 billion.

Sales of its smoking cessation drug Chantix fell 7 percent to $192 million amid concerns over possible psychiatric side effects. Its Lyrica drug for neuropathic pain and fibromyalgia edged up 2 percent to $629 million.

The deal with Wyeth is essential for Pfizer's future earnings, Catherine Arnold, pharmaceutical analyst at Credit Suisse, told CNBC.

Pfizer raised its full-year forecast for earnings, excluding items, to a range of $1.90 to $2.00 per share. Previously, it expected $1.85 to $1.95 per share.

Pfizer shares rose 25 cents to $15.95 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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—Reuters contributed to this report

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