New York - US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. Tuesday reported a 19 percent drop in earnings on lower revenues and higher taxes as it works to rebuild its product pipeline following patent expirations.
Net income came in at $2.6 billion on revenues of $12.6 billion, down from $3.2 billion on revenues of $13.0 billion in the year-ago period.
The results translated into earnings-per-share of 58 cents, excluding the effects of acquisitions and divestitures and special items, two cents above analyst forecasts. Revenues slightly lagged analyst projections of $12.7 billion.
Revenues from two of the company's blockbuster drugs, cholesterol drug Lipitor and sexual dysfunction drug Viagra, continued to erode in the quarter. The company's top two sellers are now Lyrica, which treats nerve and muscle pain, and the Prevnar line of vaccines.
Revenues for Lyrica rose 10 percent, while revenue for Prevnar edged one percent higher.
Pfizer chief executive Ian Read also pointed to strong gains from its anti-inflammatory drug Celebrex and from new oncology products Inlyta and Xalkori.
“We continue to generate solid financial results on an operational basis, despite the impact of product losses of exclusivity” as well as “the challenging operating environment,” Read said.
Read said the company was working on more than a half-dozen major product developments and joint ventures addressing type 2
diabetes, cancer pain and other ailments.
“Over the next several months, we expect to report key clinical data read-outs that will more clearly characterize the strength of our late-stage pipeline.”
The profit decline compared with the year-ago period stemmed from lower revenues due in part to the loss of exclusivity of Lipitor drug, for which revenues fell from $749 million to $533
million, as well as to the positive impact in the 2012 period from favorable tax settlements with the US and foreign countries.
The company incurred $985 million in taxes in the 2013 period compared with refunds of $183 million a year ago.
Earnings were also negatively affected by the spinoff of the Zoetis animal-care unit.
Pfizer trimmed its revenue forecast for the year from a range of $50.8-$52.8 billion previously to the current $50.8 billion-$51.8
billion. That's below the $51.45 billion forecast by analysts.
Per-share earnings are expected to come in at $2.15-$2.20 versus the prior range of $2.10-$2.20. Analysts forecast $2.16 for the year.
Pfizer shares were down 0.5 percent in pre-market trading. - Sapa-AFP