Pfizer Earnings Top Estimates as New CEO Bourla Takes Reins

(Bloomberg) -- Pfizer Inc. topped analysts’ earnings estimates after boosting the prices for several key drugs including blood thinner Eliquis, arthritis drug Xeljanz and cancer treatment Ibrance.

  • The drugmaker’s division that makes medicines primarily given in the hospital, which it recently shifted into its new-drug unit, saw sales fall 8 percent in the first quarter.

Key Insights

  • Pfizer temporarily halted price increases last year after President Donald J. Trump pressured the drug giant, though it later raised prices of 41 drugs including three of its biggest sellers. Blockbuster blood thinner Eliquis beat forecasts, bringing in $1.01 billion, compared with estimates of $924 million; arthritis drug Xeljanz and cancer dug Ibrance fell short.
  • It’s the first full quarter for incoming CEO Albert Bourla, who took over on Jan 1. He was widely expected to take over from now-chairman Ian Read who ran the company for eight years through two high profile, failed merger attempts for Allergan Plc and AstraZeneca Plc.
  • The drugmaker boosted the midpoint of its adjusted earnings guidance for this year by a penny a share to $2.83 to $2.93, and said some of its gains would be offset by unfavorable fluctuations in the value of the U.S. dollar.

Market Reaction

  • Shares climbed about 0.7 percent to $39.85 at 9:36 a.m. in New York. Through Monday’s close, Pfizer shares had fallen 9.3 percent since the start of this year, after being a top performer in the Dow Jones Industrial Average in 2018.

Know More

  • Adjusted earnings per share climbed 13 percent in the first quarter, Pfizer said. Get more details on the results here.
  • Read the company’s news release here.

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