Generic Lipitor Weighs on Pfizer Q1 Earnings; Net Down 19% – NYSE:PFE

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) announced Tuesday that its Q1 profit dropped 19%, mostly because new generic opposition to its blockbuster cholesterol pill Lipitor cut US sales by 15% as the drugmaker offered giant rebates and discounts to keep patients on its brand.

The world’s largest drugmaker surpassed Wall Street’s profit forecasts but narrowly missed its sales estimate. It trimmed its revised profit prediction for 2012 by 6 cents, to $2.14 to $2.24 a share. Analysts had forecasted $2.26 a share. Including one-time items, it anticipates earnings per share of $1.23 to $1.38.

New York-based Pfizer stated that the change was because of its recent decision to sell its infant-nutirition business to Swiss food and drink heavyweight Nestle SA for $11.85 billion. The steep fall in Lipitor revenue was factored into its prior estimates.

The maker of Viagra stated that net income was $1.79 billion, or 24 cents a share, lower from $2.22 billion, or 28 cents a share, a year previously.

Exclusive of one-time items, Pfizer would have made $4.43 billion, or 58 cents a share. Analysts were anticipating 56 cents per share.

Revenue summed $15.4 billion, lower 7% from $16.5 billion a year earlier. Analysts were anticipating $15.46 billion.

Sales in the US, where Pfizer’s patent expired on November 30 for Lipitor, the top-selling drug in history, dropped to $5.95 billion, as compared to $7.02 billion. International sales rose 1%, to $9.45 billion.

Pfizer stated that its Lipitor sales dropped 42%, to $1.4 billion as compared to $2.39 billion. Its shares dropped -0.52% to $22.78.



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