Pharmaceutical Pfizer Inc. said that an oral drug for treating COVID-19 could be available by end of 2021.
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Pfizer on Tuesday reported first-quarter revenue and adjusted earnings that topped Wall Street’s expectations, despite a decline in sales driven by the lower demand for the company’s Covid vaccine.
Pfizer’s stock edged higher in premarket trading 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 compared with Wall Street’s expectations, based on a survey of analysts by Refinitiv:
- Earnings per share: $1.23 adjusted, vs. 98 cents expected
- Revenue: $18.28 billion, vs. $16.59 billion expected
The company posted net income of $5.54 billion, or 97 cents per share. That compares with $7.86 billion, or $1.37 per share, for the same period a year ago.
The pharmaceutical giant reported first-quarter sales of $18.28 billion, down 29% over the same period a year ago.
Sales of the company’s Covid vaccine declined $10 billion, or 75% compared with the same quarter last year. Pfizer said this was primarily driven by lower contracted deliveries and demand in international markets.
The decline was also due to lower U.S. government contracted deliveries as the country prepares to shift Covid products to the commercial market later this year, according to Pfizer.
Sales of Pfizer’s Covid antiviral pill Paxlovid increased $2.8 billion during the first-quarter compared with the same period last year. Pfizer said Paxlovid revenue was propelled by new launches in certain international markets and strong demand in China due to increased Covid cases.
Paxlovid first entered the U.S. market under emergency use authorization in late December 2021. Pfizer hopes to win full Food and Drug Administration approval for the drug this year.
Excluding Covid product sales, Pfizer said first-quarter revenue grew 5% over the same period a year ago. That growth was fueled by strong sales of drugs like Sulperazon, an antibiotic for the treatment of urinary tract infections, and blood thinner medication Eliquis.
The New York-based company maintained its 2023 sales forecast of $67 billion to $71 billion. Pfizer also reiterated its full-year adjusted earnings outlook of $3.25 to $3.45 per share.
But Pfizer continues to expect Covid-related sales to decline this year. The company reaffirmed its forecast of $13.5 billion in Covid vaccine sales in 2023 and $8 billion in revenue for Paxlovid.
Excluding Covid products, Pfizer said it expects 7% to 9% revenue growth this year.
Pfizer and other drugmakers like Moderna and Johnson & Johnson have been bracing for a steep drop-off 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 M&A and a record pipeline to help the company navigate its post-pandemic boom.
The company said in January it expects to launch 19 vaccines and treatments over the next 18 months. Those drugs have the potential to generate $20 billion in 2030 sales, according to Pfizer.
Pfizer will hold an earnings call at 10:00 a.m. ET.
Read the earnings release.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.