Pfizer posts 7-percent rise in Q4 sales, boosted by Hospira, Prevnar 13

Pfizer announced Tuesday that fourth-quarter sales lifted 7 percent year-over-year to $14 billion, topping estimates of $13.6 billion, boosted by the acquisition of Hospira and the performance of the pneumonia vaccine Prevnar 13. Net income in the three-month period declined 50 percent to $613 million.

CEO Ian Read remarked that 2015 "was very productive in terms of business momentum, pipeline advancement and business development activity." Read added "I am particularly pleased with the performance of our Prevnar 13 adult and Ibrance launches in the US. In addition, Eliquis, Xeljanz and the Hospira portfolio...along with operational growth in emerging markets, meaningfully enhanced the strength of our businesses."

In the three-month period, Pfizer recorded a 15 percent increase for its innovative products portfolio to $7.6 billion, including 45 percent growth in its global vaccines business to about $1.9 billion. Meanwhile, revenue for established products fell by 2 percent to $6.3 billion, which included a contribution of $1.2 billion from legacy Hospira products.

For individual products, quartely sales of Prevnar 13 jumped 43 percent year-over-year to about $1.9 billion, besting expectations of $1.7 billion, while revenue from Lyrica rose 6 percent to $955 million. Ibrance generated $315 million in revenue, in line with analyst forecasts, with sales of Xeljanz surging 66 percent versus the year-ago quarter to $172 million.

For the full year, sales slipped 2 percent to $48.9 billion, while net income fell 15 percent to $7.7 billion. The company amassed $26.8 billion in revenue for its innovative products portfolio in 2015, compared to $24 billion in the prior year, while sales of its established products declined 14 percent year-over-year to $21.6 billion.

Looking ahead, Pfizer indicated that sales this year are expected to be in the range of $49 billion to $51 billion, with earnings per share of between $2.20 and $2.30. Comparatively, analysts anticipate per-share earnings of $2.36 on $52.5 billion in revenue.

The company indicated that it believes generic competition will depress full-year revenue by $2.3 billion, while currency effects are expected to cut down another $2.3 billion. Meanwhile, the drugmaker noted its guidance does not include an impact of its previously announced deal to purchase Allergan for $160 billion.

"I believe that we are well positioned to deliver another strong year in 2016," Read commented. The executive continued "the integration of Hospira is well under way and we now look forward to completing the combination with Allergan, which we still expect to occur during the second half of this year," adding "we see this transaction as a very effective driver of accelerating the growth potential of our innovative business, strengthening our established business and more efficiently allocating our capital globally."

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