Pfizer Stock: The Covid Cliff Is Here — What To Expect For 2023

Pfizer (PFE) called for steep declines this year from its Covid vaccine and antiviral pill, leading Pfizer stock to dip in early trades Tuesday.


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

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

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

“Bottom line: Pfizer guidance for 2023 provided with fourth-quarter results was disappointing despite the company talking down financial prospects in recent weeks,” he said in a note to clients.

In early trading on the stock market today, Pfizer stock fell 0.6% near 43.30.

Pfizer Stock: Mixed Fourth Quarter

The December quarter came out mixed with adjusted Pfizer earnings of $1.14 per share above analysts’ call for $1.05 a share. But sales were light at $24.29 billion vs. expectations for $24.39 billion. On a year-over-year basis, earnings rocketed 45% while sales moved 2% higher.

Comirnaty generated $11.33 billion in sales, declining 9% on a strict, as-reported basis. But that beat expectations by more than 50%, SVB’s Risinger said. Meanwhile, Paxlovid sales of $1.83 billion catapulted 2,313% higher vs. the same three months in 2021, but badly missed forecasts of $5.12 billion, a miss of more than 64%, he said.

Outside of its Covid products, Pfizer put up mixed results for its biggest moneymakers. Sales of cancer drug Ibrance slipped 8% to $1.28 billion and missed expectations. Blood thinner Eliquis brought in $1.48 billion in sales, down 1%, and also below forecasts. But revenue from human papillomavirus vaccine Prevnar rocketed by a third to $1.74 billion.

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

Follow Allison Gatlin on Twitter at @IBD_AGatlin.


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2023-01-31 15:08:00

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