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.)