Pfizer Q4 net jumps on sale of nutrition business

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 29, 2013 at 5:04 pm •  Published: January 29, 2013
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Specialty products, such as Enbrel for psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis, and hemophilia treatments Refacto AF and Benefix, had revenue dip 4 percent, to a combined $3.67 billion. Sales in emerging markets such as China and India jumped 17 percent, to $2.65 billion, while sales of cancer drugs, a newer focus for Pfizer, rose 9 percent to $370 million.

The animal health business saw revenue increase 6 percent, to $1.17 billion. Pfizer is set to sell up to 19.8 percent of the business, called Zoetis, in a partial initial public offering on Friday.

The consumer health business saw revenue jump 16 percent, to $936 million, due to strong growth of Advil pain reliever and Centrum vitamins.

"We had a good year," CEO Ian Read said in an interview, adding that he's "looking forward to progressing our pipeline and bringing new products to patients this year."

Read told analysts during a conference call that Pfizer will soon launch two new medicines, rheumatoid arthritis treatment Xeljanz and — with partner Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. — potential blockbuster Eliquis, for preventing heart attacks and dangerous clots in patients with the irregular heartbeat atrial fibrillation.

Pfizer said insurers so far have generally been covering Xeljanz, which has a wholesale price of about $2,050 for a month's supply, less than a rival drug.

Eliquis, just approved on Dec. 28 in the U.S., should be in most U.S. pharmacies by Thursday. Pfizer and partner Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. will promote it jointly, noting its advantages over two rival drugs on the market already, Xarelto and Pradaxa.

Asked about plans for acquisitions, Pfizer said its focus is on "bolt-on" deals, meaning purchases of companies with complementary businesses or products, with a price tag of up to several billion dollars.

Read said Pfizer's mid- to late-stage drug pipeline "continues to strengthen with key potential opportunities," including drugs for advanced breast cancer and three other types of cancer, one for high cholesterol and a meningococcal B vaccine for adolescents and young adults.

For the full year, net income was $14.57 billion, or $1.94 per share. That was down from $10.01 billion, or $1.27 per share, in 2011. Revenue totaled $58.99 billion, down 10 percent from $65.26 billion in 2011, before generic competition slashed sales of Lipitor and schizophrenia drug Geodon.

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Linda A. Johnson can be followed at http://twitter.com/LindaJ_onPharma