Pharmaceutical Pfizer Inc. said an oral drug to treat COVID-19 could be available by the end of 2021.
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Pfizer on Tuesday reported first-quarter sales and adjusted earnings that beat Wall Street expectations, despite a decline in sales attributed to lower demand for the company’s Covid vaccine.
Pfizer shares rose in premarket trading on Tuesday. Shares are down more than 23% for the year through Monday’s close, putting the company’s market value at around $221.3 billion.
Here’s what Pfizer reported versus Wall Street expectations, based on a poll of analysts by Refinitiv:
- Earnings per share: Adjusted $1.23 vs. 98 cents expected
- Revenue: $18.28 billion versus $16.59 billion expected
The company posted net income of $5.54 billion, or 97 cents a share. This compares to $7.86 billion, or $1.37 per share, for the same period a year ago.
The pharmaceutical giant reported revenue of $18.28 billion in the first quarter, down 29% from the same period last year.
Sales of the company’s Covid vaccine fell $10 billion, or 75%, from the year-ago quarter. Pfizer said this was mainly due to lower contracted supplies and demand in international markets.
The drop was also due to lower contracted shipments from the US government, Pfizer said, as the country prepares to move Covid products to the commercial market later this year.
Sales of Pfizer’s Covid antiviral pill Paxlovid rose $2.8 billion in the first quarter compared to the same period last year. Pfizer said Paxlovid’s revenue was driven by new launches in certain international markets and strong demand in China due to rising Covid cases.
Paxlovid first made an emergency appearance in the US market in late December 2021. Pfizer hopes to get full Food and Drug Administration approval for the drug this year.
Excluding sales of Covid products, Pfizer said sales were up 5% in the first quarter from the same period a year ago. That growth was driven by strong sales of drugs like sulperazon, an antibiotic used to treat urinary tract infections, and blood thinner Eliquis.
The New York-based company maintained its 2023 revenue guidance of $67 billion to $71 billion. Pfizer also reiterated its full-year adjusted earnings guidance of $3.25 to $3.45 per share.
However, Pfizer continues to expect Covid-related sales to decline this year. The company reiterated its forecast of $13.5 billion in 2023 Covid vaccine sales and $8 billion in revenue for Paxlovid.
Excluding Covid products, Pfizer expects sales to grow 7% to 9% this year.
Pfizer and other drugmakers like Moderna and Johnson & Johnson have braced for a sharp drop in Covid-related sales this year as the world emerges from the pandemic and relies less on blockbuster vaccines and treatments for the virus.
But Pfizer is pinning its hopes on mergers and acquisitions and a record-breaking pipeline to help the company navigate its post-pandemic boom.
The company said in January it expects to bring 19 vaccines and treatments to market over the next 18 months. According to Pfizer, these drugs have the potential to generate $20 billion in sales by 2030.
Pfizer will host a conference call on the results at 10:00 am ET.
Read the winning announcement.
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