Pfizer Profit Rises, Even as Patent Issues Loom

Lipitor loses patent protection in November.

Pharmaceuticals giant Pfizer said its second-quarter profit rose 5% from a year ago to $2.6 billion, slightly beating analysts' expectations.

The company's revenues for the April-June period were $17.0 billion, down 1% from the same period last year, the New York-based company said in a quarterly earnings report.

Diluted earnings per share were 60 cents, just above the consensus analyst forecast of 59 cents.

"Our performance this quarter was in-line with our expectations," CEO Ian Read said in a statement.

Pfizer's "results were impacted by losses of exclusivity of several key products in certain geographies," Read said.

Pfizer is facing uncertainty as some of its top-selling drugs are set to lose patent protection in the near future, notably anti-cholesterol drug Lipitor, which will go off-patent in the United States in November.

The company said its emerging markets unit lost $59 million in sales as a result of several key medicines, including Lipitor and sexual-potency drug Viagra, being opened up to competition in Mexico and Brazil in 2010.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011


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