Pfizer lifts profit view on cost cuts, higher COVID vaccine demand

New York, May 1 (BNA): Pfizer lifted its annual profit forecast, banking on cost cuts, a smaller-than-feared drop in sales for its COVID antiviral treatment, and strong demand for pneumonia vaccine, sending its shares up about 2% before the bell on Wednesday.

Shares of the U.S. drugmaker have lost 11% of their value this year on worries over its growth after the pandemic as billions of dollars in COVID vaccine and treatment sales evaporated, Reuters reported.

The drugmaker has responded with a $43 billion purchase of cancer drugmaker Seagen, a $4 billion cost-cut plan, and internal restructuring.

Pfizer reiterated its annual revenue forecast of $8 billion from the sale of COVID-19 shot Comirnaty and anti-viral treatment Paxlovid.

Revenue from Comirnaty, for which it partners with Germany’s BioNTech continues to perform consistently with its expectations, Pfizer said.

However, first-quarter sales from the vaccine came in at $354 million, missing analysts’ average estimate of $496.5 million.

Pfizer expects about 90% of vaccine sales to occur in the second half, mostly in the fourth quarter.

Sales of Paxlovid stood at $2.04 billion for the quarter, beating analysts’ expectations of $762.5 million.

“Paxlovid revenues in the quarter indicate a successful transition into the commercial marketplace,” CEO Albert Bourla said.

GSK raises forecast, boosted by vaccines

Its market-leading pneumonia family of vaccines, sold under the brand name Prevnar, brought in sales of $1.69 billion, beating estimates of $1.66 billion.

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Pfizer last year renegotiated a contract, allowing the U.S. government to return unused Paxlovid inventory. It recorded a $771 million favorable adjustment in the quarter related to the U.S. government return of some treatments.

The company expects adjusted earnings per share of $2.15 to $2.35 in 2024 compared with a prior forecast of $2.05 to $2.25.

It posted an adjusted profit of 82 cents per share, while analysts on average were expecting it to earn 52 cents, according to LSEG data.


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