Pfizer Cost Cutting Measures Lead to Rise in Profit Outlook

On Wednesday, Pfizer raised its annual profit forecast and reported first-quarter results that exceeded Wall Street’s expectations, driven by cost-cutting measures, resilient sales of its COVID antiviral treatment, and robust performance of its pneumonia vaccine.

The company’s acquisition of Seagen, valued at $43 billion, contributed to the better-than-anticipated sales of cancer treatment Padcev, surpassing analysts’ projections.

Additionally, Pfizer’s $4 billion cost-cutting initiative, alongside the Seagen deal, constitutes vital components of its post-COVID growth strategy.

Investors are closely monitoring the performance of Pfizer’s new RSV vaccine, which has been trailing behind a competitor shot from GSK since their respective launches.

Pfizer Cost Cutting Measures Lead to Rise in Profit Outlook
Pfizer upgraded its 2024 profit forecast range by 10 cents on both ends, anticipating earnings of $2.15 to $2.35 per share. (Credits: Pfizer)

Following the announcement, shares of the New York-based pharmaceutical company, which had declined by 11% this year, saw a 1% increase to $25.89 in premarket trading.

Seagen’s cancer therapies Padcev and Adcetris generated combined sales of $598 million for Pfizer in the quarter.

However, Adcetris sales fell short of analysts’ expectations, prompting JP Morgan analyst Chris Schott to comment, “We believe stronger new launch performance and further progress on the pipeline will be necessary to change the current narrative on the stock.”

Pfizer reaffirmed its expectation of $8 billion in combined sales from its COVID-19 products, including the Comirnaty vaccine developed with BionTech and the oral antiviral Paxlovid.

Pfizer reported an adjusted profit of 82 cents per share, exceeding analysts’ average expectation of 52 cents, according to LSEG data. (Credits: Johanna Geron)

Despite a 50% decline in Paxlovid sales to $2.04 billion for the quarter, the figure still exceeded analysts’ projections of $762.5 million. Pfizer recorded a favorable adjustment of $771 million related to the U.S. government’s return of some Paxlovid inventory under a renegotiated contract.

Sales of the COVID-19 vaccine dropped by 88% to $354 million, missing estimates of $496.5 million, while Prevnar pneumonia vaccines achieved sales of $1.69 billion, surpassing estimates of $1.66 billion.

However, sales of Pfizer’s Abrysvo vaccine for protection against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) fell short, totaling just $145 million, significantly below analysts’ expectations of $353.3 million.

Josh Alba
Josh Alba
Josh Alba stands at the forefront of contemporary business journalism, his words weaving narratives that illuminate the intricate workings of the corporate world. With a keen eye for detail and a penchant for uncovering the underlying stories behind financial trends, Josh has established himself as a trusted authority in business writing. Drawing from his wealth of experience and relentless pursuit of truth, Josh delivers insights that resonate with readers across industries.
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