Pfizer's first-quarter sales drop 2 percent, missing estimates

Pfizer said Tuesday that first-quarter sales declined 2 percent year-over-year to $12.8 billion, missing analyst estimates of $13.1 billion, with the company highlighting one less US selling day and two fewer international selling days compared to the year-ago period. Net income in the quarter lifted 3 percent to $3.1 billion.

CEO Ian Read commented "I was pleased with our first-quarter 2017 financial performance, which was in line with our expectations." The CEO continued "I believe each of our businesses is well positioned within their individual markets with strong portfolios, highly skilled and accomplished leadership and focused strategies." 

Pfizer noted that sales in its innovative health unit climbed 5 percent to $7.4 billion, which the drugmaker indicated was due to "continued growth from key brands including Ibrance and Eliquis." Meanwhile, revenue in the company's essential health segment slumped 10 percent to $5.4 billion. 

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Regarding individual products, quarterly sales of the Prevnar 13 vaccine franchise fell by 8 percent to $1.4 billion compared to the same period last year, while revenue from Lyrica jumped 12 percent to $1.1 billion. Meanwhile, Ibrance sales surged 58 percent versus the year-ago period to $679 million, missing analyst expectations of $682 million, whereas revenue from Lipitor declined by 2 percent to $404 million. 

In addition, sales of Viagra plunged 14 percent versus the year-ago period to $339 million, while Pfizer recorded $131 million in revenue for Xtandi, which the company acquired from its $14-billion purchase of Medivation last year. Pfizer additionally generated $78 million in revenue for Inflectra, a biosimilar of Johnson & Johnson's Remicade, while the company amassed $9 million in sales for the eczema therapy Eucrisa, which was approved in the US last December. 

For the current year, Pfizer confirmed that it expects sales in the range of $52 billion to $54 billion, with earnings per share between $2.50 and $2.60, in line with prior guidance

Commenting of the news, Goldman Sachs analysts said "key franchises came in well below expectations, raising concerns about Pfizer's ability to grow in the absence of M&A."

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