Pfizer reports earnings growth

Aug 5, 2011
by WLJ

Pfizer Inc. reported higher quarterly earnings last week as higher sales of animal health and nutritional products that the company aims to divest helped offset falling sales of its core pharmaceuticals business.

The world’s biggest drugmaker, whose shares slipped 1.3 percent in pre-market trading, said last Tuesday that it earned $2.61 billion, or 33 cents per share. That compared with $2.48 billion, or 31 cents per share, in the year-earlier second quarter.

Global revenue fell 1 percent to $16.98 billion, matching expectations, but would have fallen 5 percent if not for the weaker dollar, which boosts sales in overseas markets.

For the first time, Pfizer’s animal health products crossed the $1 billion mark, with sales jumping 18 percent to $1.06 billion— bolstered by the company’s recent acquisi tion of King Pharmaceuticals and its Alpharma brands.

Even as the animal health products and nutritional brands propped up secondquarter results, Pfizer is considering divesting both units in order to reward shareholders and focus on its pharmaceutical business.

The company might sell or spin off the two units, whose combined value could exceed $16 billion. Pfizer expects to complete any transactions in 12 to 24 months, but said it does not expect to make any further announcements about the businesses until next year.

Pfizer reaffirmed its 2011 profit forecast of $2.16 to $2.26 per share, excluding special items. Thanks to huge planned cuts in its research budget, Pfizer predicted earnings in 2012 of $2.25 to $2.35 per share.