Financial Performance

Pfizer Beats Estimates on Strength in Key Drugs

Sales from Pfizer's innovative health division were particularly strong in the second quarter, with anti-smoking drug Chantix up 8% to $8.2 billion.
Matthew HellerJuly 31, 2018

Pfizer reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings on Tuesday, driven in part by strong demand for its rheumatoid arthritis drug, but lowered its full-year outlook due to unfavorable exchange rates.

For the second quarter, Pfizer’s net income was $3.87 billion, up 26% from a year earlier, and earnings rose to 65 cents per share. Adjusted earnings were 81 cents, beating Wall Street’s expectations of 74 cents per share.

Revenue increased 4% from a year earlier to $13.5 billion, compared to analyst estimates of $13.31 billion.

Drive Business Strategy and Growth

Drive Business Strategy and Growth

Learn how NetSuite Financial Management allows you to quickly and easily model what-if scenarios and generate reports.

Pfizer’s top sellers included the rheumatoid arthritis drug, Xeljanz, which delivered sales of $463 million for the second quarter, beating consensus estimates of $432 million. Sales of another drug in the company’s innovative health division, the anti-smoking treatment Chantix, were up 8% to $8.2 billion.

For the breast cancer drug Ibrance, sales rose only 2% in the U.S., bringing in $744 million, but were up 20% worldwide at $1.03 billion. The largest surprise came from anticoagulant Eliquis, which grew 47% to $889 million, well above analysts’ estimates of $810 million.

“We reported solid second-quarter 2018 financial results, with total company revenues up 2% operationally, driven by the continued growth of key brands such as Eliquis, Ibrance and Xeljanz, as well as biosimilars and emerging markets,” CEO Ian Read said in a news release.

“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,” he added.

Pfizer now expects 2018 revenue of between $53 billion and $55 billion, compared with a prior forecast of $53.5 billion to $55.5 billion.

“Revenue guidance was updated solely to reflect recent unfavorable changes in foreign exchange rates in relation to the U.S. dollar from mid-April 2018 to mid-July 2018, primarily the weakening of the euro, Chinese yuan and Japanese yen,” the company explained.

Earlier this month, Pfizer deferred announced price hikes on about 40 of its drugs after being subjected to critical tweets from President Trump. Since then, other major drugmakers have announced drug price freezes.