Pfizer Beats Wall Street Estimates

Pfizer, Inc., the biggest drug maker in the world reported profits for the third quarter that passed the estimates of analysts as the drug maker lowered its costs, while its sales of its top painkiller and vaccine increased.

Earnings with the exception of one-time items ended the quarter at 58 cents per share, which was 2 cents per share higher than analysts’ estimates. Sales dropped by 2% to end the quarter at $12.6 billion, from last year’s $13 billion.

Pfizer is expanding its sales of Prevenar, its pneumococcal vaccine, which is the company’s second largest product, since it lost its exclusivity for its drug Lipitor, once the biggest selling drug in the world.

Pfizer also used money it received from divesting units to repurchase stock and increase its earnings per share. Now investors are looking for details as to whether Ian Read the company CEO will break up the company into as many as three new pieces, keep them as separate units in-house or sell a portion of the company.

Pfizer narrowed projections for earnings for the full year excluding certain items from $2.10 to $2.20 a share to $2.15 to $2.20 per share.

The company’s net income dropped 19% ending the quarter at $2.59 billion equivalent to 39 cents a share, from last year’s $3.2 billion equivalent to 43 cents a share.

On the news, Pfizer stock was up to $30.74, an increase of less than one percent.

The company was one of the hardest hit pharmaceuticals by losing its drug patent protections. Lipitor started facing generic copycat competition in 2011.

Expectations of Eliquis, which is a blood thinner, remain low, while Xeljanz, its rheumatoid arthritis medication has seen its demand slowed as well, said one analysts on Wall Street.

The company reorganized all its operations in July into off patent and generic drug business, along with two units for brand names.

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