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Will Pfizer (PFE) Beat Expectations This Earnings Season?

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We expect Pfizer (PFE - Free Report) to beat expectations when it reports second-quarter 2021 results on Jul 28, before market open. In the last reported quarter, the company beat earnings expectation by 17.72%.

The drug giant’s performance has been mixed with the company exceeding earnings expectations in three of the last four quarters while missing in one. The company has a four-quarter earnings surprise of 8.44%, on average.

Pfizer Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

Pfizer Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

Pfizer Inc. price-eps-surprise | Pfizer Inc. Quote

Pfizer’s stock has risen 12.7% this year so far compared with an increase of 10.1% for the industry.

Zacks Investment Research
Image Source: Zacks Investment Research

Factors to Note

 Pfizer’s sales in the second quarter are likely to have been driven by its and partner BioNTech’s (BNTX - Free Report) COVID-19 vaccine, BNT162b2. Sales are expected to have been higher than first quarter sales of $3.5 billion. The two-shot vaccine is approved for emergency/conditional use in several countries.

Higher sales of Pfizer’s key brands, Eliquis (alliance revenues from Bristol-Myers [(BMY - Free Report) ]), Xeljanz, Xtandi and Inlyta, and significant contribution from new drug Vyndaqel/Vyndamax and higher biosimilar revenues are likely to have contributed to sales growth in the second quarter of 2021.

Prevnar 13 sales in the United States might have been hurt by negative impact of the revised Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations and disruptions in patient visits amid the pandemic. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Prevnar 13 vaccine is $1.25 billion.

Key oncology medicine, Ibrance’s revenues in the first quarter were hurt due to increase in enrollment in Pfizer’s Patient Assistance Program (provides Ibrance free of charge to certain low-income patients) due to COVID-19-related economic hardships. The negative impact is expected to have normalized in the second quarter as the economic impact of the pandemic has reduced somewhat.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for sales of Ibrance (worldwide) and alliance revenues from Eliquis is $1.38 billion and $1.46 billion, respectively. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Inlyta and Xeljanz’s sales is pegged at $245 million and $693 million, respectively.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for oncology and vaccine products is $3.02 billion and $8.09 billion, respectively.

However, sales of some key drugs like Chantix in the United States and Enbrel in international markets declined in the past two quarters. It remains to be seen if sales have improved in the second quarter.

While Chantix sales are expected to have been hurt due to loss of exclusivity, sales of Enbrel in key European markets, Japan and Brazil are likely to have been hurt by biosimilar competition.

R&D costs are expected to have been higher in the second quarter due to incremental spending on COVID-19-related programs and other mRNA-based projects.

In June, the FDA approved Pfizer’s 20-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, Prevnar 20, for the prevention of invasive disease and pneumonia in adults. We expect management to discuss the commercialization plans for this new product on the second-quarter conference call.

Earnings Whispers

Our proven model predicts an earnings beat for Pfizer in the soon-to-be-reported quarter because it has the right combination of the two key ingredients. A stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) for a likely beat.

Earnings ESP: Pfizer’s Earnings ESP is +2.33% as the Most Accurate Estimate of 99 cents is pegged higher than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 97 cents. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Zacks Rank: Pfizer has a Zacks Rank #3

Another Stock to Consider

A biotech stock that has the right combination of elements to beat on earnings this time around is Aptose Biosciences (APTO - Free Report) with Earnings ESP of +12.73% and a Zacks Rank #3. The company is scheduled to report earnings on Aug 3. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.