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Pfizer posts earnings of 67 cents a share vs. 55 cents expected

Ian Read, CEO of Pfizer.
Mark Neuling | CNBC
Ian Read, CEO of Pfizer.

Pfizer reported first-quarter revenue that blew past analysts' average estimate, boosted by sales of its new treatments for cancer and its Hospira acquisition.

Shares of Pfizer rose 2.74 percent.

Pfizer also raised its revenue and earnings forecast for the year helped in part by a favorable impact of recent changes in foreign exchange rates.

The pharmaceutical giant posted first-quarter adjusted earnings per share of 67 cents, compared to 51 cents a share in the year-earlier period.

Revenue for the quarter came in at $13.01 billion, against a comparable year-ago figure of $10.86 billion.

Analysts expected the New York-based drug company to report earnings per share of 55 cents on $12.02 billion in revenue, according to Thomson Reuters consensus estimates.

The company said it now expects 2016 revenue to be in the range of $51 billion to $53 billion, up from $49 billion to $51 billion, and adjusted earnings of $2.38 to $2.48 per share, up from $2.20 to $2.30 per share.

Last month, the U.S. Treasury Department unveiled a series of rules that effectively torpedoed a $160 billion merger between the Dow component and Allergan. The merger would have allowed Pfizer to take advantage of Ireland's more favorable tax environment in a so-called inversion deal.

While Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told CNBC the rules were not retroactive, he noted "everyone who engages in business knows that it's subject to changes in law or in ruling."

Pfizer shares have remained steady this year despite the market's gyrations. The blue-chip stock was up 1.6 percent in 2016, entering Tuesday's session, and is down just 1.12 percent over the past 12 months.

The stock is handily outperforming its rival Novartis, which has fallen 11.54 percent in 2016 and 26.36 percent in the past year.

— CNBC's Tom DiChristopher and Reuters contributed to this report.