Biotech and Pharma

Pfizer posts mixed third-quarter results, narrows full-year forecast, shares drop 

Key Points
  • Pfizer reports mixed third-quarter results.
  • Pfizer beats Wall Street analysts' earnings expectations but falls short on revenue and narrows its full-year forecast.
Pfizer signage is displayed on a monitor on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer on Tuesday beat Wall Street analysts' third-quarter earnings expectations but fell short on revenue and narrowed its full-year forecast.

Shares of Pfizer fell about 1 percent.

Here's what the company reported compared with what Wall Street was expecting, based on a survey of analysts by Refinitiv:

  • Earnings per share: 78 cents, adjusted, vs. 75 cents expected
  • Revenue: $13.3 billion vs. $13.53 billion expected

Pfizer reported third-quarter net income of $4.11 billion, or 69 cents per share, up from $2.84 billion, or 47 cents per share a year earlier. Excluding items, Pfizer earned 78 per share, more than the 75 cents per share expected by analysts surveyed by Refinitiv.

Net sales rose 1 percent to $13.3 billion, shy of the $13.53 billion analysts had expected.

Innovative health revenue increased 4 percent to $8.47 billion, boosted by sales of blood thinner Eliquis and breast cancer drug Ibrance outside of the U.S., among others. Essential health revenue fell 4 percent to $4.38 billion, with generic versions of Viagra entering the market.

For the full year, Pfizer narrowed its revenue forecast to between $53 billion and $53.7 billion from the previously guided $53 billion to $55 billion. For adjusted earnings per share, Pfizer expects $2.98 to $3.02 from a previous estimate of $2.95 to $3.05.

Pfizer attributed the revenue changes to shortages of its Hospira Sterile Injectable Pharmaceuticals product in the U.S. and weakening currency in some emerging markets and the euro starting this summer.

Earlier this month, Pfizer announced CEO Ian Read will retire and Albert Bourla will take over in January.

"Albert's extensive knowledge of our business, firm grasp of the issues, and deep caring for patients will help Pfizer continue to build on the outstanding foundation we have put in place," Read said in a statement Tuesday.
"I am confident that he is implementing a structure and building a leadership team that will maximize the company's growth opportunities."

Pfizer said it bought back $1.1 billion of its shares in the quarter, bringing its 2018 total to $9 billion. It expects to repurchase about $12 billion this year.

Incoming CEO Bourla told Wall Street analysts that Pfizer doesn't see the need for any large-scale mergers or acquisitions right now as it focuses on its pipeline.