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Pfizer raises 2022 earnings guidance, beats third-quarter expectations

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Vials containing the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are displayed before being used at a mobile vaccine clinic, in Valparaiso, Chile, January 3, 2022.
Rodrigo Garrido | Reuters

Pfizer on Tuesday raised its 2022 earnings guidance after booking a strong third quarter that beat Wall Street expectations.

It now expects earnings per share of $6.40 to $6.50 for the year, up from its previous forecast of $6.30 to $6.45. The pharmaceutical company also raised the lower end of its sales guidance and now expects revenue of $99.5 billion to $102 billion for the year.

Pfizer raised its full-year sales guidance for its Covid-19 vaccine to $34 billion this year, up $2 billion from the company’s previous expectations. It is maintaining revenue expectations of $22 billion for the antiviral pill Paxlovid.

Its shares rose by about 2% in morning trading.

Here’s how the company performed compared with what Wall Street expected for the third quarter, based on analysts’ average estimates compiled by Refinitiv:

  • Adjusted EPS: $1.78 per share vs. $1.39 expected
  • Revenues: $22.6 billion vs. $21 billion expected

But Pfizer’s third-quarter global revenue fell 6% to $22.6 billion compared to the same period last year due to softening demand for its Covid vaccines internationally. The company sold $4.4 billion of its vaccine worldwide in the quarter, a decrease of 66% compared with the third quarter of 2021.

But softer global Covid vaccine sales internationally were offset by strong demand in the U.S., where revenue increased 83% year over year due to the rollout of the new BA.5 omicron boosters. Paxlovid also had a strong quarter, generating $7.5 billion in sales worldwide though mostly in the U.S.

Sales of the Eliquis, a blood thinner to treat clots and prevent strokes, came in at about $1.5 billion, a 9% increase over the same quarter last year. And Pfizer’s pneumonia vaccine, Prevnar, booked $1.6 billion in global sales, an increase of 11% over the same period in 2021.

Pfizer had net income of $8.6 billion for the third quarter, a 6% increase over the same quarter last year.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla indicated that company is looking beyond the Covid pandemic which has led to record windfalls for the pharmaceutical giant.

Bourla said in a statement that Pfizer plans to launch 19 new products or new uses for existing drugs in the next 18 months. The company, for example, reported positive clinical trial data Tuesday for its maternal RSV vaccine that protects newborns.

The RSV vaccine is administered as a single dose to the mother in the late second or third trimester of her pregnancy. Pfizer’s data showed that in the first 90 days of the baby’s life, the vaccine was 81% effective at preventing severe lower respiratory tract illnesses that require hospitalization or assisted breathing.

Pfizer closed major acquisitions of Biohaven and Global Blood Therapeutics in the third quarter, deals worth $11.6 billion and $5.4 billion, respectively.

Correction: Pfizer closed acquisitions of Biohaven and Global Blood Therapeutics in the third quarter. An earlier version misstated the period.

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