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Pfizer Breaks A Barrier

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AP

Since some readers often accuse me of focusing on the bad news about Pfizer, I wanted to be sure and call attention to the fact that PFE is no longer a teenager.

Intraday, at least, shares of the Dow component have broken above $20--just barely, though. If the stock can stay there at 4 p.m. ET today, our resident stock statistician, Robert Hum, says that'll be the first time Pfizer's closed above that level since May 21st.

Coincidentally, Leerink Swann's big pharma analyst Seamus Fernandez is out with a research note to clients on PFE today. He's raising his sales and earnings forecasts for 2011 and 2012, but cutting his EPS projections for 2009 and 2010.

It's essentially a wash because Fernandez writes, "Still-negative outlook keeps us on the sidelines." He also thinks the big Pfizer dividend is "likely safe" through '12 as long as there are no "major shocks or mega-mergers". After 2012, Fernandez isn't so sure about the dividend. That's when the loss of the patent on the mega-blockbuster cholesterol drug will be in full effect.

Leerink Swann may trade in PFE.

Questions? Comments? Pharma@cnbc.com