Pfizer Profit Beats Estimates as Cancer Drug Sales Increase

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Pfizer, Merck 2Q Profits Beat Estimates

Pfizer Inc. reported second-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ estimates and raised its full-year profit forecast as sales of a new cancer drug climbed.

Adjusted earnings of 56 cents a share topped the average projection of 52 cents, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. First-quarter sales of $11.9 billion compared with analysts’ projection of $11.4 billion.

The drug Ibrance, approved in February by U.S. regulators for use in advanced breast cancer, generated $140 million in sales, compared with the $95.3 million projected by analysts. Ibrance will be a $3.39 billion drug by 2018, according to analysts’ estimates. Total oncology sales, including drugs such as Sutent, Inlyta and Xalkori, rose 25 percent from a year earlier.

In trial results reported in May, Ibrance more than doubled the time it took for tumors to come back or start growing again in women with advanced, previously treated breast cancer, a result that could expand the drug’s use and delay chemotherapy for many patients.

Pfizer shares climbed 1.9 percent to $34.98 in early trading. The stock had risen 10 percent this year through Monday’s close.

The Prevnar family of vaccines generated $1.5 billion in sales, topping the $1.3 billion average estimate. A U.S. advisory panel recommended last year that Prevnar 13 be used for people 65 and older to help prevent infections including pneumonia and meningitis, helping lift revenue.

Older Products

Some older products also surpassed projections. Erectile dysfunction drug Viagra recorded sales of $448 million, ahead of the $404 million average estimate, fueled by demand in the U.S. Lipitor, for high cholesterol, had revenue of $509 million, surpassing the $434 million average estimate, boosted by sales in emerging markets.

Adjusted profit will reach $2.01 to $2.07 a share this year, Pfizer said, compared with an earlier estimate of $1.95 to $2.05. Sales will climb to a range of $45 billion to $46 billion, the drugmaker said.

Pfizer agreed in February to buy Hospira Inc., which makes injectable drugs, in a transaction valued at about $17 billion, beefing up its roster of generic medicine ahead of a potential breakup of Pfizer into two or three separate companies. Deals in the generic-drug business have been heating up, with Allergan Plc agreeing Monday to sell its unit to Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. for $40.5 billion.

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