Pfizer said Tuesday that first-quarter sales fell 9 percent year-over-year to $13.5 billion, missing analyst estimates of around $13.9 billion, mainly due to patent expiries on Lipitor in Europe and Geodon in the US. Net income for the three-month period reached $2.8 billion, up 53 percent compared to the same quarter last year as a result of lower legal charges and costs related to cost-reduction and productivity initiatives.
Chief financial officer Frank D’Amelio remarked that the drugmaker’s quarterly performance “was negatively impacted by approximately $0.02 per share due to changes in foreign exchange rates in relation to the US dollar, including the devaluation of the Venezuelan currency in February.” As such, Pfizer cut its annual guidance and said it now expects earnings of $2.14 to $2.24 per share, down from a prior forecast of $2.20 to $2.30 per share. In addition, the company lowered its sales guidance to a range of $55.3 billion to $57.3 billion, from an earlier prediction of $56.2 billion to $58.2 billion.
In the quarter, Pfizer noted that sales of prescription drugs slipped 12 percent versus the year-ago period to $11.5 billion, with revenue in the US dropping 13 percent to $4.5 billion. Sales of drugs in emerging markets increased 5 percent to $2.4 billion. For specific products, sales of Lyrica climbed 12 percent to $1.1 billion, which the company noted was primarily due to a “strong performance” in the US and some European countries. Revenue from Celebrex also grew in the quarter, and was up 3 percent to $653 million.
However, a number of other products suffered declining revenue, with sales of Enbrel dropping 2 percent year-over-year to $877 million. Pfizer noted that sales of Prevnar 13/Prevenar 13 were impacted by “purchasing patterns” in some countries, including the US, with revenue down 10 percent to $846 million. Meanwhile, sales of Lipitor plummeted 55 percent to $626 million, with revenue from Viagra slipping 7 percent to $461 million.
CEO Ian Read remarked “I am very pleased with the successful completion of the Zoetis IPO and a related debt offering, and with the value these actions have created thus far for Pfizer’s shareholders.” In February, the initial public offering of Pfizer’s animal-health unit Zoetis raised $2.2 billion.