Pfizer Profit Falls on Hit from Generic Lipitor

U.S. revenues fell 15% to $6 billion, primarily as a result of the U.S. loss of exclusivity of Lipitor on Nov. 30, 2011, the company said.

Pfizer Inc., the world's biggest drug maker, said its first-quarter profit fell 19% from a year earlier due to generic competition for its blockbuster anti-cholesterol pill Lipitor.

Pfizer (IW 500: 12) said net income was $1.8 billion in the first three months of the year, or 24 cents per share, compared with $2.2 billion in the year-ago period.

Excluding special items, Pfizer earned 58 cents per share, better than the 56 cents forecasted by analysts.

Revenue fell 7% from a year ago to $15.4 billion, slightly below Wall Street expectations of $15.5 billion.

U.S. revenues fell 15% to $6 billion, primarily as a result of the U.S. loss of exclusivity of Lipitor on Nov. 30, 2011, New York City-based Pfizer said.

International revenues were $9.5 billion, stable compared with the 2011 first quarter. In emerging markets, revenues jumped 9%, driven by surging sales mainly in China, Mexico and Russia.

"I am pleased with our first-quarter 2012 financial performance, which was driven primarily by growth in certain brands including Celebrex, Enbrel and Lyrica, growth in key geographies such as China, as well as our continued ability to realize cost savings and efficiently allocate our shareholders' capital," Pfizer Chairman and CEO Ian Read said in a statement.

Pfizer lowered its full-year adjusted-profit forecast to take into account the sale last month of its infant food maker Pfizer Nutrition to Swiss food giant Nestle, for $11.85 billion.

The company said it expects earnings per share of $2.14 to $2.24, down 6 cents from its earlier estimate. Analysts previously had forecast $2.26.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

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