Pfizer Gets A Two-Fer


As Pfizer Chairman and CEO Jeff Kindler represents at the White House Healthcare Summit today and tries to make the industry's case against government price controls on prescription drugs, a couple of prominent industry analysts are giving him a little something to smile about.

Coincidentally, Catherine Arnold at Credit Suisse and Jami Rubin at Goldman Sachs are both saying, "Enough already!"

Rubin is putting PFE on the GS "Conviction Buy List." That means she thinks it's a bargain. "At current levels," Rubin writes in a research note to clients, "PFE is very attractive....We continue to believe that tremendous value remains to be unlocked through radical restructuring approaches in Pharma." Since the Pfizer-Wyeth deal was announced in late January, Rubin points out that PFE has lost $33 billion in market value.

Goldman Sachs is a financial advisor to Pfizer on the Wyeth deal. It also makes a market in the stock.

Meantime, Arnold says that shares of the Dow component have fallen 28 percent since PFE announced its intention to buy Wyeth while the S&P 500 has dropped 14 percent. She writes, "Our take: Palpable interest in the name waiting on the sidelines until the stock stabilizes!" The exclamation point is hers.

Credit Suisse has banked PFE and wants to do some more business with the drugmaker. In addition, Arnold or someone on her teams lives with someone who works for Pfizer. CS calls that a "material conflict of interest" in the disclosures portion of the research note.

In my exclusive interview on "Squawk Box" this morning with new Sanofi-Aventis Chris Viehbacher I asked him whether Wall Street's negative reaction to the PFE-WYE deal sent him a message.

In no uncertain terms he said he isn't interested in a mega-merger—not even with his oft-speculated and rumored Plavix bloodthinner drug partner Bristol-Myers Squibb . But he is looking to do so-called bolt-on acquisitions in the $5 billion to $15 billion range as well as partnerships, which he believes help cushion the ever-present downside risk if an experimental drug doesn't work, isn't safe or for whatever reason doesn't make it to market.

I blogged about the emergingP&A versus M&A trend yesterday.

P.S. I had blogged yesterday that the Viehbacher interview would air between 7:30 and 8 a.m. ET today. If you were watching, you might have noticed we didn't get on until just after 8. That's because last night the show had to be rejiggered to make room for the late addition of GE's CFO.

Questions? Comments?