Pfizer Inc. (PFE) , the biggest drugmaker in the world, on Tuesday reported second-quarter earnings that nipped past analyst predictions as the company fought through declining sales that were hamstringed by the loss of exclusivity on the blockbuster cholesterol fighter Lipitor.
For the quarter, NYC-based Pfizer said it generated $12.97 billion in revenue, compared to $13.97 billion in the second quarter last year. Net income soared to $14.1 billion, or $1.98 per share, versus $3.25 billion, or 43 cents per share, in last year’s quarter. In February, Pfizer spun-out its animal health business into a new company called Zoetis, Inc. (ZTS) . In December 2012, it sold its nutrition business to Nestle SA ($NSRGY) for $11.85 billion, accounting for most of the surge in reported income. Excluding gains from the sale, restructuring costs and other special items, adjusted profits for the second quarter totaled $4.0 billion, or 56 cents per share, compared to $4.45 billion, or 59 cents per share, in the year prior quarter.
Wall Street was expecting EPS of 55 cents on revenue of $13.01 billion.
Sales of Lipitor sank 55 percent from $1.22 billion in the second quarter of 2012 to $545 million in the latest quarter. Sales of pneumococcal vaccine Prevnar slipped 3 percent to $969 million due to changes in government purchasing patterns. Counterbalancing those losses, sales of Pfizer’s biggest drug Lyrica, which is indicated for fibromyalgia, diabetic nerve pain and more, improved by 10 percent to $1.13 billion.
Revenue for Pfizer’s leading business units – primary care, specialty care, emerging markets and established products – all declined compared to the year prior quarter. Ian Read, chairman and chief executive at Pfizer, said in today’s statement that he expects emerging market business growth to accelerate in the second of the year, led by China.
“From a total company view, we are tracking to our expectations for the full year and continue to capitalize on the investments we are making to better position Pfizer for long-term success,” added Read.
The company backed its 2013 forecast of adjusted earnings in the range of $2.10 to $2.20 per share.
Sales of anti-cancer drugs rose 24 percent to $399 million, boosted in part by a 191-percent climb in sales of Xalkori to $67 million and $17 million in sales from new drug Inlyta.
Operating margin improved significantly from 29.9 percent to 41.3 percent.
Marking “the next step in Pfizer’s journey to further revitalize [its] innovative core,” Pfizer said on Monday that it intends to split its company into three new units. One unit will focus on drugs that are patent-protected beyond 2015. The second will include vaccines, oncology and consumer healthcare products. The third will include drugs that have lost – or will soon lose – patent exclusivity, generics and future product collaborations. The changes are slated to start happening in January.
Two new drugs, blood thinner Eliquis and rheumatoid arthritis drug Xeljanz, are thought by many to have the capabilities to grow into blockbusters, although Zeljanz is facing some hurdles in Europe with negative opinions being offered by a European Medicines Agency committee. Zeljanz generated $33 million in sales in the second quarter. The FDA is reviewing a supplemental New Drug Application (NDA) for Zeljanz with a decision expected by February. Topline results are expected from two ongoing phase 3 trials evaluating Zeljanz in the second quarter next year. The FDA is also reviewing a supplemental NDA for Eliquis, with a decision expected by March 15, 2014.
During the second quarter, Pfizer repurchased $3.3 billion worth of its common stock, bringing its first-half total to $8.7 billion.
Shares of PFE have risen 20 percent so far in 2013 through Monday’s close at $29.54.