NEW YORK (AP) — Pfizer Inc. said Tuesday its fourth-quarter
profit nearly quadrupled from a year ago when it was weighed down by
restructuring charges, as revenue rose 6 percent, thanks to the addition of
products from fellow drugmaker Wyeth, acquired late in 2009.
The results narrowly beat Wall Street expectations. Pfizer
also approved a $5 billion stock buyback plan and said it was cutting spending
on research and development.
Pfizer, the world’s biggest drugmaker by revenue, said its
net income was $2.89 billion, or 36 cents per share, compared with $767
million, or 10 cents per share, a year earlier.
Adjusted net income was $3.77 billion, or 47 cents per
share, down 1 percent from $3.83 billion a year earlier.
Revenue totaled $17.56 billion, up from $16.54 billion in
2009’s fourth quarter.
Analysts surveyed by FactSet were expecting earnings per
share of 46 cents and revenue of $16.99 billion.
The maker of cholesterol blockbuster Lipitor and impotence
pill Viagra reported a 3 percent increase in sales of its prescription drugs,
to $15.05 billion. Sales of veterinary medicines rose 8 percent, to $976
million, while the smaller consumer healthcare and nutrition businesses posted
larger jumps, due to the addition of those Wyeth businesses.
Pfizer bought Wyeth for $68 billion in October 2009, but
only recorded its revenue for part of that quarter.
Pfizer gave its first 2011 financial forecast, saying it
expects earnings per share of $2.16 to $2.26, excluding just over $1 in
one-time items. It expects revenue of $66 billion to $68 billion.
Analysts forecast earnings per share of $2.30 and revenue of
$66.55 billion, on average.
“I am pleased with our solid financial performance
again this quarter and this year despite continued challenging market
conditions,” new CEO Ian Read said in a statement.
Read took over after Pfizer’s board unexpectedly pushed out
CEO Jeffrey Kindler on Dec. 6, apparently due to the poor performance of
Pfizer’s stock and other issues during his 4 1/2-year tenure.