Pfizer Sales and Lower Charges Help Top Forecasts

Pfizer has doubled its profit for the third quarter, thanks to a combination of higher sales, lower one-off charges, and less spending on administration and production.

The U.S. based drug maker eased past profit expectations on Wall Street and improved its financial forecast for 2017.

The Viagra and Lyrica maker on Tuesday announced it would decide in 2018 if it will spin off or sell its consumer health segment, which sells an array of products such as Chapstick, pain reliever Advil and Centrum vitamins.

Pfizer said earlier in October that it was considering if it would keep the business or divest it.

The pharmaceutical giant based in New York has been at this point before, having decided previously that its consumer health business was not a good fit. That prompted it to sell a large stable of its consumer products to Johnson & Johnson a big rival for $16.6 billion during December of 2006.

In 2009, Pfizer re-entered the consumer products business when it acquired drug maker Wyeth.

During its just ended third quarter, Pfizer posted a profit that reached $2.84 billion equal to 47 cents a share. That was higher than the same period last year of $1.36 billion equal to 22 cents a share.

Excluding one-off items, Pfizer’s net income reached $4.05 billion equal to 67 cents a share. That figure was 2 cents above estimates on Wall Street.

Pfizer increased its revenue by 1% during the quarter ending at $13.16 billion which was in line with forecasts by analysts.

Pfizer posted sales that were higher for the majority of its key new medications including cancer treatments Xtandi and Ibrance, rheumatoid arthritis medication Xeljanz and Eliquis which prevents blood clots and strokes.

Bestseller Prevnar, a vaccine against bloodstream, ear and other pneumococcal infections has sales that dropped by 1% to just over $1.52 billion. However, overall the key segment that sells newer and patented-protected drugs posted an increase of 11% for revenue that reached $8.13 billion.

Sales of its other older medications that face competition from generic drugs in different countries were down 12% ending the quarter at $5.05 billion. Sales for its consumer health segment were higher by 4% ending the quarter at $829 million.

Pfizer is now expecting earnings for the full year to be between $2.58 and $2.62 a share, which is just higher and narrower than its forecast in August.

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