Shares in Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) fell today after the pharma giant missed sales expectations, but beat earnings estimates on Wall Street with its 1st quarter results.
The N.Y.-based company posted profits of $3.12 billion, or 51¢ per share, on sales of $12.78 billion for the 3 months ended March 31, for bottom-line growth of 3% on sales loss of 2% compared with the same period last year.
Adjusted to exclude 1-time items, earnings per share were 69¢, ahead of consensus on The Street, where analysts were looking for sales of $13.09 billion.
“I was pleased with our 1st quarter 2017 financial performance, which was in line with our expectations, and it reinforces our confidence in the business going forward,” chairman & CEO Ian Read said in prepared remarks. “I believe each of our businesses is well positioned within their individual markets with strong portfolios, highly skilled and accomplished leadership and focused strategies. Innovative Health’s core franchises – Prevnar 13, Lyrica, Ibrance, Eliquis, Xeljanz and Xtandi – have strong leadership positions in their respective therapeutic categories and are complemented by new product launches, including Eucrisa and Bavencio, as well as meaningful pipeline progress. Essential Health’s growth opportunities – sterile injectables, biosimilars and emerging markets – continue to perform in line with our expectations while we refine the business and position it for potential sustainable revenue growth. Finally, we will continue to allocate our capital to initiatives that we believe will maximize value creation.”
Pfizer said it expects to post adjusted EPS of $2.50 to $2.60 for the full year of 2017.
PFE shares were trading at $33.50 apiece today in afternoon trading, down -0.8%.
Analysts suggested that Pfizer will need to consider making deals in order to improve its growth prospects over the coming year.
“Key franchises came in well below expectations, raising concerns about Pfizer’s ability to grow in the absence of M&A,” Goldman Sachs analysts said, according to Reuters.
On a call with investors, Read said he expects the company will do big deals in the future, but that issues like tax and healthcare reform within the U.S. government need to be resolved before any deals can be made. He added that a number of potential deal-making companies are awaiting data that could affect their value.
“We never say never, but I believe the current environment needs to stabilize in order to be an advantageous market for big deals,” he said.
In February, Pfizer finished the sale of its global infusion therapy assets, Hospira (NYSE:HSP), to ICU Medical (NSDQ:ICUI).