Pfizer reports Q4 Loss on higher charges, FY outlook disappoints

by Ike Obudulu Last updated on April 30th, 2019,

Pharmaceuticals giant Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) on Tuesday reported a loss for the fourth quarter as an increase in revenues was more than offset by higher charges, while the year-ago period’s results were positively impacted by a hefty tax benefit.

However, both revenue and adjusted earnings per share for the quarter beat analysts’ estimates. Looking ahead, the company forecast earnings and revenue for fiscal 2019 below expectations. Pfizer’s shares are losing more than 2 percent in pre-market activity.

Pfizer’s fourth-quarter net loss was $394 million or $0.07 per share, compared to net income of $12.27 billion or $2.02 per share in the year-ago period.

The latest quarter’s results reflect higher asset impairment charges and higher charges for certain legal matters. The year-ago period’s results include a tax benefit of $10.7 billion to reflect the December 2017 enactment of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act.

Adjusted earnings for the quarter were $0.64 per share, compared to $0.62 per share last year. On average, analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $0.63 per share. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.

Revenue for the quarter rose 2 percent to $13.98 billion from $13.70 billion in the same period last year. Analysts had a consensus revenue estimate of $13.91 billion.

The increase in revenues reflect operational growth of $657 million, or 5 percent, partially offset by the unfavorable impact of foreign exchange of $383 million, or 3 percent.

Innovative Health revenues increased 10 percent operationally to $8.85 billion, driven by continued growth from key brands including Ibrance, Eliquis, Xeljanz and Prevenar 13.

Essential Health revenues declined 3 percent operationally to $5.12 billion, negatively impacted by a 13 percent operational decline in the Legacy Established Products or LEP portfolio, a 14 percent operational decline in the Sterile Injectable portfolio and a 10 percent operational decline in the Peri-LOE products portfolio, all in developed markets.

Looking ahead to fiscal 2019, Pfizer forecast adjusted earnings of $2.82 to $2.92 per share and revenues of $52.0 billion to $54.0 billion. The company noted that the midpoints of these ranges imply essentially flat operational performance compared to 2018.

The outlook anticipates continued strong growth from key product franchises, including Ibrance, Eliquis, Xeljanz and Xtandi as well as the expected loss of exclusivity of Lyrica in the U.S. in June 2019.

The Street expects earnings of $3.04 per share for the year on revenues of $54.36 billion.

Below are the earnings highlights for Pfizer Inc. (PFE):

  • Earnings: -$0.39 billion in Q4 vs. $12.27 billion in the same period last year.
  • EPS: -$0.07 in Q4 vs. $2.02 in the same period last year.
  • Excluding items, Pfizer Inc. reported adjusted earnings of $3.80 billion or $0.64 per share for the period.
  • Analysts projected $0.63 per share
  • Revenue: $13.98 billion in Q4 vs. $13.70 billion in the same period last year.

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