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After a Tough Third Quarter, Pfizer Lowers Guidance

Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, lowered its outlook for 2012 after a tough third quarter hit by the loss of exclusivity on its blockbuster Lipitor.

Pfizer Inc. (IW 1000/17), the world's largest drug maker, lowered its outlook for 2012 after a tough third quarter hit by the loss of exclusivity on its blockbuster Lipitor.

Third-quarter net income fell 14% from a year earlier to $3.2 billion, the New York-based company said.

Revenue dropped 16% to $14 billion.

Pfizer lowered its full-year revenue estimate to a range between $58 billion and $59 billion, from a prior top-end estimate of $60 billion.

The company said it now expects 2012 earnings per share between $2.14 and $2.17, instead of the $2.12 to 2.22 it previously estimated.

The lowered guidance fell short of analysts' forecasts of $59.47 billion in revenue and earnings of $2.21 per share.

"Overall, our results this quarter reflect continued product losses of exclusivity, most notably Lipitor in all major markets," said Ian Read, Pfizer chairman and chief executive.

The company lost exclusivity on its blockbuster anti-cholesterol drug Lipitor on Nov. 30, 2011, and faces stiff competition from generic versions.

Read said worldwide revenues from many of the Pfizer's key medicines, including Enbrel, Celebrex and Lyrica, continue to grow operationally "despite a challenging and dynamic environment."

He cited continued strong performances in emerging markets, especially in China, due to the company's wide portfolio of medicines and focused investment strategy.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

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