Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pfizer Reports; Should I Sell My Shares?

Now that I own some Pfizer stock (due to the acquisition of Wyeth), I feel obligated to at least post on Pfizer's earnings. (marketwatch)

-The world's largest drug maker posted net income of $2.88 billion, or 43 cents a share, compared with $2.28 billion, or 34 cents a share, for the same quarter in 2008.

-Excluding various items, Pfizer would have reported adjusted earnings of 51 cents a share, versus 62 cents. This year's quarter was also impacted by a higher tax rate, due largely to its merger with Wyeth.

-Revenue in the period fell 3% to $11.62 billion, from $11.97 billion.

-Pfizer was expected to report lower year-over-year sales, with the loss of patent protection for such former blockbusters as Norvasc and Zyrtec weighing heavily on its top line.

-Still, Pfizer's sales results managed to top Wall Street's expectations. According to a recent poll of analysts by FactSet Research, Pfizer was pegged at posting earnings of 48 cents a share on revenue of $11.44 billion.

-On Oct. 15, Pfizer finally closed its $68 billion merger with Wyeth, which was scheduled to release its earnings Thursday. Pfizer halved its once-coveted dividend several months ago to help finance the takeover.

-Pfizer also updated its 2009 financial forecast to reflect the acquisition. The drug maker now sees revenue of $49 billion to $50 billion, up from its previous forecast of $45 billion to $46 billion. Earnings are seen between $1.45 and $1.50 a share, up from $1.30 to $1.45. Adjusted earnings should come in between $2.00 and $2.05 a share, up from $1.90 to $2.00.

I'm still making up my mind about this stock. As long as it continues to move higher, I'm not going to sell it. I don't typically like companies that make massive acquisitions as I fell there is a lot of waste and its difficult to manage that many different operations and still grow. But they have a pretty strong sales pipeline now as Wyeth was a great company (that's why I owned the stock). But Pfizer did have to cut their dividend to finance this deal, which is one of the reasons to like Pfizer in the first place. I haven't had time to do a ton of research on this yet, so like I said, I'm still up in the air on Pfizer.

Disclosure: Long PFE

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