Pfizer Stock: The Covid Precipice Is Here – What To Expect In 2023

Pfizer Stock: The Covid Precipice Is Here - What To Expect In 2023
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Pfizer (PFE) called for sharp drops this year in its Covid vaccine and antiviral pill, but Pfizer shares reversed higher on Tuesday.


After reaching a whopping $100.3 billion in sales in 2022, the pharmaceutical giant expects 2023 to mark a year on the decline. Pfizer called for its Covid vaccine, Comirnaty, to generate $13.5 billion in sales this year, falling 64%. Sales of the antiviral pill Paxlovid are expected to plummet 58% to $8 billion.

The expected decline comes in a year when the US is expected to end its public health emergency. The two Covid products will also hit the commercial market in the US soon, meaning they won’t be able to rely on a steady stream of US government contracts.

SVB Securities analyst David Risinger said Pfizer “reset” expectations for 2023.

“Bottom line: Pfizer’s 2023 guidance provided with fourth-quarter results was disappointing despite the company’s talking about the financial outlook in recent weeks,” it said in a note to clients.

In the midday trade in the stock market today, pfizer shares rose 0.2% near 43.60.

Pfizer Stock: Mixed Fourth Quarter

The December quarter was mixed with Pfizer adjusted earnings of $1.14 per share above analysts’ forecast of $1.05 per share. But sales were light at $24.29 billion versus $24.290 million. expectations of $24.39 billion. Year-over-year, profit soared 45% while sales were up 2%.

Comirnaty generated $11.33 billion in sales, down 9% on a strict basis, as reported. But that exceeded expectations by more than 50%, said SVB’s Risinger. Meanwhile, Paxlovid’s sales of $1.83 billion soared 2.313% over the previous year. the same three months in 2021, but missed forecasts of $5.12 billion, a failure of more than 64%, he said.

Outside of its Covid products, Pfizer had mixed results for its biggest money-makers. Sales of the cancer drug Ibrance fell 8% to $1.28 billion and missed expectations. Eliquis blood thinner generated $1.48 billion in sales, down 1% and also below forecasts. But revenue from the Prevnar pneumonia vaccine shot up by a third to $1.74 billion.

For the year, Pfizer forecasts adjusted earnings of $3.25-$3.45 per share and $67 billion to $71 billion in sales. At the midpoint, profits would plunge 49% and sales would drop 31%. Pfizer stock analysts had projected earnings of $4.33 per share and $72.88 billion in sales.

This story has been updated to reflect that Prevnar is a pneumonia vaccine.

Follow Allison Gatlin on Twitter at @IBD_AGatlin.


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