Pfizer stock climbs as drug giant raises 2019 guidance

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Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) stock climbed Tuesday as the New York drugmaker raised its financial targets for the year as it posted better-than-expected third-quarter results lifted by higher sales for its biopharma business.


Shares of the company rose 3.8% to $38.69 in morning trade.


Pfizer said it now expects full-year revenue of between $51.2 billion and $52.2 billion, compared with its previous outlook of between $50.5 billion and $52.5 billion. The company raised its adjusted earnings guidance to between $2.94 and $3.00 a share, from $2.76 to $2.86 a share.


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For the third quarter ended September 2019, Pfizer posted a profit of $7.68 billion, or $1.36 a share, compared with $4.11 billion, or 69 cents a share, a year ago. Excluding special one-time items, the company reported a profit of $0.75 a share.


Analysts were expecting earnings of $0.46 cents a share, or $0.62 cents a share on an adjusted basis.


Revenue fell to $12.68 billion from $13.3 billion a year earlier, but also beat consensus forecasts for $12.26 billion.


Sales in its biopharmaceutical segment rose by about 7% to $10.11 billion, led by higher sales of its cancer drug Ibrance, arthritis medicine Xeljanz and Inlyta brands as well as an increase in sales in its international markets, Pfizer said.


In a statement accompanying the latest numbers, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said: “We reported strong third-quarter results, driven by 9% volume-driven operational revenue growth in our biopharma business, including growth from key brands such as Ibrance, Xeljanz, Eliquis, Vyndaqel and Inlyta as well as in emerging markets.”


Pfizer announced in July it would separate its off-patent branded drugs business and combine it with generic drugmaker Mylan NV, allowing it to focus on its more profitable drugs such as Ibrance and Xeljanz. Pfizer will also rely on its innovation business RemainCo for a greater proportion of its revenue stream.


“Following the expected close of the Upjohn-Mylan transaction next year, Pfizer RemainCo will be a smaller, science-based company with a singular focus on innovation. We expect Pfizer RemainCo will be positioned to deliver revenue,” Bourla concluded.


Contact Uttara Choudhury at [email protected]


Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive

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