Pfizer's second-quarter sales beat estimates, driven by Eliquis, Ibrance, Xeljanz

Headline results for the second quarter:

Innovative health unit

$8.3 billion


Essential health unit

$5.2 billion



$13.5 billion (forecasts of $13.3 billion)



$3.9 billion


Note: All changes are versus the prior-year period unless otherwise stated

What the company said:

CEO Ian Read called the results "solid…driven by the continued growth of key brands such as Eliquis, Ibrance and Xeljanz, as well as biosimilars and emerging markets." The CEO continued "the performance of these growth drivers was partially offset by product losses of exclusivity, a decline in legacy established products in developed markets and ongoing legacy Hospira supply shortages."

Chief financial officer Frank D'Amelio added "we are raising our 2018 guidance range for adjusted diluted [earnings per share], which at the midpoint implies 13 percent growth compared to last year."

Other results:

  • Prevnar 13: $1.3 billion, up 8 percent
  • Lyrica: $1.2 billion, down 3 percent
  • Ibrance: $1 billion, up 20 percent
  • Eliquis: $889 million, up 47 percent
  • Enbrel: $551 million, down 11 percent
  • Lipitor: $521 million, up 17 percent, beating forecasts of $466 million
  • Xeljanz: $463 million, up 38 percent, topping estimates of $432 million
  • Viagra: $185 million, down 47 percent
  • Biosimilar product sales: $188 million, up 55 percent
  • Emerging markets: $3.2 billion up 14 percent

Looking ahead:

Pfizer now expects full-year sales of between $53 billion and $55 billion, down from prior guidance of $53.5 billion to $55.5 billion, due to the impact of the strong US currency. Meanwhile, earnings per share are forecast to be in the range of $2.95 to $3.05, up from an earlier estimate of $2.90 to $3.00.

Read also noted that the drugmaker was not keen to consider a major deal. "I don't believe we need such a deal to drive the growth of the company," the CEO said, adding "we'd be better off focusing on developing our pipeline." 

The company reported that it now expects to spend between $7.7 billion and $8.1 billion this year on R&D, up from a previous prediction of $7.4 billion to $7.9 billion.

Pipeline update:

Pfizer disclosed that Sutent failed to gain approval in Europe for the adjuvant treatment of patients with renal cell carcinoma following a negative vote from the European Medicines Agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use in February. The company added that it ended early-stage development of PF-06342674 for type 1 diabetes and PF-06747775 in cancer.

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