Pfizer Profits Hits $3.74 Billion in Q3

In Japan, Pfizer's second-largest market, the company said it had generated 19% operational growth in the third quarter.

Pharmaceuticals giant Pfizer on Nov. 1 raised its full-year earnings outlook after posting robust third-quarter profit that topped analysts' expectations.

The company said it had net income of $3.74 billion in the July-September period, compared with $866 million in the prior-year quarter.

Revenues in the quarter rose 7.5% from a year earlier to $17.19 billion, the New York-based company said, exceeding market expectations of $16.42 billion.

Ian Read, Pfizer chief executive, said the company fared well despite the impact of patent losses on products totaling about $950 million in the third quarter and "the challenges posed by current global market and economic conditions."

"Excluding the impact of product losses of exclusivity, all of our businesses generated revenue growth while effectively managing their cost structures," Read said.

In Japan, Pfizer's second-largest market, the company said it had generated 19% operational growth in the third quarter.

The company said it returned about $3.6 billion to our shareholders during the quarter through dividends and share buybacks. To date in 2011, it said it had repurchased $6.5 billion in shares, and set a target of between $7 billion and $9 billion by the end of the year.

Pfizer raised its earnings per share guidance for the 2011 full year to between $2.24 and $2.29, up from the prior estimate of $2.16 to $2.26.

Pfizer said it was well-prepared for the loss this month of patent protection in the United States on its blockbuster anti-cholesterol drug Lipitor. Read said he was pleased with the "strong performance" of the Lipitor franchise and the company's ability to continue to maximize the value of the brand before it goes off-patent in the U.S.

"We remain well-prepared for the Lipitor U.S. loss of exclusivity later this month and in various other countries shortly thereafter," he said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

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