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Zoetis Commences Trading

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Zoetis Inc. (ZTS - Free Report) , the former Animal Health business of Pfizer Inc. (PFE - Free Report) , started trading on the New York Stock Exchange from Feb1, 2013. Zoetis had priced over 86 million shares of Class A common stock at $26 per share. The company’s shares jumped nearly 20% from the initial price, closing the first trading day at $31.01.

We remind investors that Pfizer had announced its plans to spin off its Animal Health business in Jun 2012. In Aug 2012, Zoetis – the then subsidiary of Pfizer – filed a registration with the US Securities and Exchange Commission for a potential initial public offering of Class A common stock.

We are positive on Pfizer’s decision to spin off its Animal Health business as it will enable the pharma major to focus on its core business. Pfizer has already taken some steps to make its operations more streamlined and focused. The company sold its Capsugel unit to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co L.P. (KKR - Free Report) for $2.375 billion in cash in Aug 2011.

Zoetis, which focuses on discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of animal vaccines, medicines, biopharmaceuticals, diagnostics and genetic tests, has a presence in more than 120 countries. The Animal Health segment of Pfizer had delivered sales of $1.2 billion in the final quarter of 2012, up 6% year over year.

We note that Zoetis boasts of a robust and diversified product portfolio consisting of more than 300 product lines. It is divided into five categories – vaccines, parasiticides, anti-infectives, medicated feed additives and other pharmaceuticals for veterinarians and livestock producers.

Pfizer currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). However, Sanofi (SNY - Free Report) , another large-cap pharma stock, appears to be more favorably placed as it carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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