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Pfizer (PFE) Down 0.2% Since Last Earnings Report: Can It Rebound?

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It has been about a month since the last earnings report for Pfizer (PFE - Free Report) . Shares have lost about 0.2% in that time frame, underperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent negative trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Pfizer due for a breakout? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at its most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important drivers.

Q4 Earnings Top, Revenues Miss

Pfizer reported fourth-quarter 2023 adjusted earnings per share of 10 cents in contrast to the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 19 cents per share. In the year-ago quarter, the company had recorded earnings of $1.41 per share.

Revenues came in at $14.25 billion, down 41% from the year-ago quarter on a reported basis, reflecting an operational decline of 42%. Total revenues missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $14.37 billion.

The revenue decline, as expected, was due to a steep drop in revenues from its COVID-19 products, Comirnaty and Paxlovid, on lower demand.

With the end of the pandemic, sales of Pfizer’s COVID-19 products declined steeply. Sales of Prevnar family and Ibrance also declined in the quarter. However, sales of some key non-COVID products like Vyndaqel/Vyndamax and Eliquis alliance revenues, newly acquired products like Nurtec and new product launches like Abrysvo provided some top-line support. Revenues from Pfizer’s non-COVID products rose 8% operationally in the fourth quarter.

International revenues declined 39% to $9.66 billion. U.S. revenues declined 46% to $4.59 billion.

Adjusted selling, informational and administrative (SI&A) expenses rose 1% (operationally) in the quarter to $4.47 billion primarily due to the timing of marketing and promotional activities. Adjusted R&D expenses declined 24% to $2.77 billion, driven primarily by lower spending across both vaccine programs and certain acquired assets, as well as lower compensation-related expenses.

Segment Discussion

Pfizer reports its revenues under three broad sub-segments of its Biopharma operating segment — Primary Care, Specialty Care and Oncology. Sales of the Primary Care segment declined 60% operationally to $6.99 billion. The Specialty Care unit recorded sales of $3.95 billion, up 11%. Sales of Oncology declined 2% to $2.93 billion.

Primary Care

In Primary Care, direct sales and alliance revenues from BioNTech for Comirnaty were $5.36 billion in the quarter, down 54% year over year. Comirnaty sales declined 57% in the United States due to lower contracted deliveries to the U.S. government following the commercial transition in September 2023. Comirnaty sales declined 53% outside U.S. markets due to lower demand and contracted deliveries. Comirnaty sales missed our estimate of $5.57 billion.

Paxlovid revenues declined to negative $3.2 billion in the quarter due to a non-cash revenue reversal of $3.5 billion recorded in the fourth quarter for the return of an estimated 6.5 million unused EUA-labeled treatment courses from the U.S. government.

Alliance revenues and direct sales from Eliquis rose 9% to $1.61 billion. Alliance revenues from Eliquis beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.51 billion as well as our model estimate of $1.49 billion.

Global Prevnar family revenues declined 7% to $1.61 billion due to lower demand for pediatric patients in certain emerging markets and unfavorable timing of customer orders. The Prevnar family includes revenues from Prevnar 13/Prevenar 13 (pediatric and adult) and Prevnar 20 (adult and pediatric). Prevnar revenues missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.89 billion as well as our model estimate of $1.76 billion.

Prevnar sales declined 3% in the United States and 14% in international markets.

Newly acquired product Nurtec ODT/Vydura contributed $282 million in the fourth quarter compared with $253 million in the previous quarter.

Among the new products, Pfizer’s RSV vaccine, Abrysvo, recorded sales of $515 million in the fourth quarter compared with $375 million in the previous quarter. Abrysvo sales slightly beat our model estimate of $510 million.

Specialty Care

Global Vyndaqel family revenues of $961 million rose 39% year over year, driven by continued strong uptake of transthyretin amyloid cardiomyopathy indication, primarily in the United States and developed Europe. The Vyndaqel family includes global revenues from Vyndaqel as well as revenues for Vyndamax in the United States and Vynmac in Japan. Vyndaqel family sales beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $945.0 million as well as our model estimate of $921.0 million.

Xeljanz sales were flat at $493 million. Enbrel revenues declined 12% to $203 million due to continued biosimilar competition in key European markets and Japan.

New product, Oxbryta, generated sales of $96 million in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared with $85 million in the previous quarter. Another new drug, Cibinqo, approved in 2022, recorded revenues of $37 million in the fourth quarter, the same as in the previous quarter.


In Oncology, Ibrance revenues declined 13% year over year to $1.19 billion. Lower demand trends globally due to competitive pressure and lower clinical trial purchases in certain international markets hurt sales growth. Ibrance revenues missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.21 billion.

Xtandi recorded alliance revenues of $314 million in the quarter, down 2% year over year. Inlyta revenues were $263 million in the quarter, up 9%.

The $43 billion acquisition of Seagen in December 2023 added four antibody-drug conjugates or ADCs — Adcetris, Padcev, Tukysa and Tivdak — to Pfizer’s cancer portfolio. These drugs contributed $46 million, $52 million, $17 million and $4 million, respectively, to Pfizer’s oncology revenues in the fourth quarter, subsequent to the closing of the acquisition on Dec 14, 2023.

Full-Year 2023 Results

Full-year 2023 sales declined 42% to $58.5 billion, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $60.07 billion. Sales were within the guided range of $58.0 to $61.0 billion. On an operational basis, sales declined 41% in the year. Excluding COVID-19 products, Paxlovid and Comirnaty, revenues grew 7% operationally, within the full-year 2023 non-COVID operational revenue growth target of 6% to 8%.

Adjusted earnings for 2023 were $1.84 per share, down 72% year over year. Earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.38 per share as well as the guided range of $1.45 to $1.65.

2024 Guidance

Pfizer maintained its revenue and profit guidance for 2024 that it had provided in December 2023. Pfizer’s guidance for 2024 includes its expectations from the acquisition of Seagen.

Pfizer expects total revenues to be in the range of $58.5 to $61.5 billion in 2024, almost flat from 2023 levels.
The 2024 revenue guidance includes $8 billion in potential combined revenues for Paxlovid and Comirnaty. The $8 billion combined guidance comprises $5 billion in sales from Comirnaty and $3 billion from Paxlovid.

The total revenue guidance also includes $3.1 billion in expected revenues from Seagen.
The total revenue guidance includes approximately $1 billion due to the reclassification of Pfizer’s royalty income from Other (Income)/Deductions into the Revenue line.
Excluding revenues from Seagen and the abovementioned reclassification, the revenue guidance for legacy Pfizer is $54.5 billion to $57.5 billion, which indicates a decline from the 2023 level.

Excluding COVID-19 products but including Seagen, Pfizer expects its revenues to rise 8% to 10% on an operational basis in 2024. Excluding the contribution from COVID-19 products as well as Seagen, operational sales are expected to increase 3.

Adjusted earnings are expected in the range of $2.05 to $2.25 per share. This range includes the expected impact of 40 cents dilution from the Seagen acquisition mainly due to the costs of financing the transaction. Adjusted earnings for legacy Pfizer are expected in the range of $2.45 to $2.65 per share.

Pfizer expects cost cuts and internal restructuring, including layoffs, to deliver savings of $4 billion in 2024. Adjusted gross margin is expected to be approximately 70% in 2024. Research and development expense is expected in the range of $11.0 to $12.0 billion in 2024. SI&A spending is expected in the range of $13.8 billion to $14.8 billion.

The adjusted tax rate is expected to be approximately 15% in 2024.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

It turns out, estimates revision have trended downward during the past month.

The consensus estimate has shifted -10.92% due to these changes.

VGM Scores

Currently, Pfizer has a subpar Growth Score of D, however its Momentum Score is doing a lot better with a B. Following the exact same course, the stock was allocated a grade of B on the value side, putting it in the second quintile for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of C. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.


Estimates have been broadly trending downward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions indicates a downward shift. Notably, Pfizer has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.

Performance of an Industry Player

Pfizer belongs to the Zacks Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry. Another stock from the same industry, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ - Free Report) , has gained 1.7% over the past month. More than a month has passed since the company reported results for the quarter ended December 2023.

Johnson & Johnson reported revenues of $21.4 billion in the last reported quarter, representing a year-over-year change of -9.8%. EPS of $2.29 for the same period compares with $2.35 a year ago.

For the current quarter, Johnson & Johnson is expected to post earnings of $2.64 per share, indicating a change of -1.5% from the year-ago quarter. The Zacks Consensus Estimate has changed +0.2% over the last 30 days.

Johnson & Johnson has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) based on the overall direction and magnitude of estimate revisions. Additionally, the stock has a VGM Score of C.

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