- Pfizer reported a quarterly loss for the third quarter as the drugmaker booked charges largely related to struggles over its Covid antiviral treatment Paxlovid and its Covid vaccine.
- The results come two weeks after Pfizer cut its full-year revenue and adjusted earnings guidance and launched a sweeping $3.5 billion cost-cutting plan.
- Pfizer will hold an earnings conference call with investors at 10 a.m. ET.
CFOTO | Future publications | fake images
Pfizer on Tuesday reported a smaller-than-expected adjusted loss for the third quarter, as the drugmaker booked charges largely related to struggles over its Covid antiviral treatment Paxlovid and the Covid vaccine.
Pfizer said it recorded a $5.6 billion charge for inventory write-offs in the third quarter due to lower-than-expected use of Covid products. Of these writedowns, $4.7 billion is attributed to Paxlovid and $900 million is attributed to the company’s vaccine.
The pharmaceutical giant also reiterated the adjusted full-year earnings and revenue guidance it announced two weeks ago, which is sharply lower than its initial projections due to weakening demand for its Covid products. That decline in demand also led Pfizer to simultaneously announce a sweeping $3.5 billion cost-cutting plan.
Those efforts were seen as necessary to shore up investor confidence as Pfizer and rivals like Moderna struggle to cope with the rapid decline of their Covid businesses, which are transitioning to the U.S. commercial market this year.
Here’s what Pfizer reported for the third quarter compared to what Wall Street expected, according to a survey of analysts by LSEG, formerly known as Refinitiv:
- Loss per share: Adjusted 17 cents vs. expected 34 cents
- Revenue: $13.23 billion vs. $13.34 billion expected
Pfizer reported third-quarter revenue of $13.23 billion, down 42% from the same period a year earlier, due to declining sales of its Covid products.
The company’s Covid vaccine brought in $1.31 billion in sales, down 70% from the same quarter a year earlier. Analysts expected the injection to generate $1.53 billion in sales, according to FactSet estimates.
Paxlovid posted $202 million in revenue, a 97% drop. Analysts expected $613.5 million in sales of the drug, according to FactSet estimates.
Together, the products generated about $1.5 billion in revenue during the quarter. That compares with about $12 billion in sales during the same period a year ago.
For the third quarter, Pfizer posted a net loss of $2.38 billion, or 42 cents per share. That compares with net income of $8.61 billion, or $1.51 per share, during the same period a year ago.
Excluding certain items, the company’s earnings per share were 17 cents for the quarter.
Pfizer reiterated the guidance it outlined in October: The company expects 2023 sales of between $58 billion and $61 billion and full-year adjusted earnings of between $1.45 and $1.65 per share.
The pharmaceutical giant also expects its Covid antiviral treatment Paxlovid to generate $1 billion in sales this year. Meanwhile, Pfizer anticipates its Covid vaccine will raise $11.5 billion.
Pfizer shares have fallen about 40% in the year through Monday’s close, putting the company’s market value at around $172.5 billion.
Excluding Covid products, Pfizer said revenue for the quarter grew 10% operationally.
The company said the growth was driven in part by its new respiratory syncytial virus vaccine, which entered the market during the quarter for seniors and pregnant women. The vaccine, known as Abrysvo, posted sales of $375 million during the period.
Recently purchased drugs also boosted revenue. Nurtec ODT, Biohaven Pharmaceuticals’ migraine drug, and Oxbryta, Global Blood Therapeutics’ sickle cell anemia treatment, raised $233 million and $85 million, respectively.
The company said revenue was also boosted by strong sales of Vyndaqel drugs, which are used to treat a certain type of cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle. These drugs recorded $892 million in sales, 48% more than in the third quarter of 2022.
Pfizer hopes to divert investors’ attention from Covid to its growth opportunities, including mergers and acquisitions and a record pipeline.
The company had a busy few months with product launches, including a vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus, a pill for ulcerative colitis, a meningococcal vaccine and, of course, the newest version of its Covid vaccine.
Investors are awaiting updates on a mid-stage trial of Pfizer’s oral obesity pill danuglipron, which could potentially compete with Eli Lilly’s experimental obesity pill orforglipron. The positive data could solidify Pfizer as a viable competitor in the weight-loss drug space, which has so far been dominated by Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly.
Investors are also looking for updates on Pfizer’s $43 billion acquisition of cancer therapy maker Seagen, a deal the company believes could contribute more than $10 billion in risk-adjusted sales to 2030.
The European Commission, the executive body of the European Union, approved the proposed purchase earlier this month.
Pfizer will hold an earnings conference call with investors at 10 a.m. ET.