Zacks Investment Research Lowers Pfizer (PFE) to Hold

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Friday morning.

According to Zacks, “Pfizer faces headwinds in the form of genericization of key drugs, supply challenges in the legacy Hospira portfolio, pricing pressure and rising competition, which are hurting the top line. Nonetheless, we believe that new products like Ibrance, contribution from acquisitions, cost cuts and share buybacks should help the company achieve its guidance. Pfizer also boasts a strong pipeline and expects approximately 25 to 30 drug approvals over the next five years, including around 15 products that have blockbuster potential. Pfizer’s growing immuno-oncology portfolio offers a strong potential. Bavencio is being considered a key long-term growth driver for Pfizer. Additionally, Pfizer’s shares have outperformed the industry this year so far. Pfizer has a positive record of earnings surprises in recent quarters. Estimates have gone up slightly ahead of its Q1 earnings release.”

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Several other research firms also recently commented on PFE. BMO Capital Markets set a $39.00 price objective on Pfizer and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, January 30th. SunTrust Banks restated a hold rating and set a $40.00 price objective (up from $33.00) on shares of Pfizer in a report on Monday, January 29th. Morgan Stanley raised their price objective on Pfizer from $41.00 to $43.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, January 31st. UBS set a $42.00 price objective on Pfizer and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, January 31st. Finally, Societe Generale set a $40.00 price objective on Pfizer and gave the stock a neutral rating in a report on Wednesday, January 31st. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the stock. Pfizer has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $39.25.

Shares of NYSE PFE opened at $35.17 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 1.35, a quick ratio of 1.10 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.47. Pfizer has a fifty-two week low of $31.67 and a fifty-two week high of $39.43. The company has a market capitalization of $209,362.27, a PE ratio of 13.27, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.76 and a beta of 0.90.

Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, January 30th. The biopharmaceutical company reported $0.62 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.56 by $0.06. Pfizer had a return on equity of 25.21% and a net margin of 40.55%. The firm had revenue of $13.70 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $13.67 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.47 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up .6% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts anticipate that Pfizer will post 2.96 earnings per share for the current year.

Pfizer announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Monday, December 18th that authorizes the company to buyback $10.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the biopharmaceutical company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are often a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

In other news, insider Kirsten Lund-Jurgensen sold 9,510 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, February 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $37.19, for a total value of $353,676.90. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 36,959 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,374,505.21. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP Sally Susman sold 33,368 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, February 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $37.03, for a total value of $1,235,617.04. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 191,505 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,091,430.15. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 248,037 shares of company stock worth $9,064,785 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.06% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Investment Centers of America Inc. lifted its position in Pfizer by 2.3% during the 3rd quarter. Investment Centers of America Inc. now owns 195,611 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $6,990,000 after acquiring an additional 4,472 shares during the period. Meag Munich Ergo Kapitalanlagegesellschaft MBH lifted its position in Pfizer by 437.9% during the 3rd quarter. Meag Munich Ergo Kapitalanlagegesellschaft MBH now owns 773,073 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $27,607,000 after acquiring an additional 629,361 shares during the period. Atlantic Trust LLC lifted its position in Pfizer by 19.8% during the 2nd quarter. Atlantic Trust LLC now owns 27,400 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $748,000 after acquiring an additional 4,530 shares during the period. Bollard Group LLC lifted its position in Pfizer by 4.0% during the 3rd quarter. Bollard Group LLC now owns 78,608 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $2,806,000 after acquiring an additional 3,004 shares during the period. Finally, Oldfield Partners LLP lifted its position in Pfizer by 33.1% during the 4th quarter. Oldfield Partners LLP now owns 109,850 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $3,979,000 after acquiring an additional 27,300 shares during the period. 71.20% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Pfizer

Pfizer Inc discovers, develops, manufactures, and sells healthcare products worldwide. It operates in two segments, Pfizer Innovative Health (IH) and Pfizer Essential Health (EH). The IH segment focuses on the development and commercialization of medicines and vaccines, and consumer healthcare products in various therapeutic areas, including internal medicine, vaccines, oncology, inflammation and immunology, and rare diseases, as well as consumer healthcare, such as over-the-counter brands comprising dietary supplements, pain management, gastrointestinal, and respiratory and personal care.

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