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Pfizer Inc. (PFE - Analyst Report) recently announced the filing of a registration statement by its subsidiary, Zoetis Inc. The company said that Zoetis has filed the statement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission for a potential initial public offering (IPO) of Class A common stock. The IPO is for a stake of up to 20% in Zoetis.
Pfizer intends to transfer its Animal Health business to Zoetis before the offering is completed, potentially in the first half of 2013. The company said that it is yet to decide on the number of shares and the price range for the offering.
Pfizer had first announced its plans to spin off its Animal Health business in June 2012. Pfizer’s Animal Health business, which focuses on the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of animal vaccines, medicines, biopharmaceuticals, diagnostics and genetic tests, has a presence in more than 120 countries. The business delivered sales of $4.2 billion in 2011.
With the upcoming spin-off of the Animal Health business, Pfizer should be able to focus on its core business area. Pfizer has already taken steps to make its operations more streamlined and focused. The company sold its Capsugel unit to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co L.P. (KKR - Snapshot Report) for $2.375 billion in cash in August 2011.
Then, in April 2012, Pfizer announced that it has entered into an agreement with Nestlé regarding the sale of the Nutrition business for a cash consideration of $11.85 billion.
We currently have a Neutral recommendation on Pfizer, which carries a Zacks #3 Rank (short-term Hold rating). The company is in a major patent cliff with Lipitor losing patent protection in November 2011. Near-term earnings at Pfizer will be driven by cost cutting efforts and share repurchases. Longer-term growth will be dependent on the success of drug development.
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