Pfizer 2Q numbers tumble and COVID-19 vaccine, treatment sales dry up

Crumbling COVID-19 vaccine and treatment sales chopped Pfizer’s second-quarter earnings, but both the drugmaker and Wall Street expect a rebound in the back half of 2023.

Pfizer recorded no U.S. sales of its treatment, Paxlovid, in the recently completed quarter, as the company shifts to selling the pills on the commercial market after contracting with the government.

Paxlovid brought in only $143 million total sales during the quarter after recording $8 billion in last year’s quarter.

Sales of the vaccine Comirnaty also slid 83% to $1.49 billion in the quarter, as both products fell short of Wall Street expectations.

Both Pfizer’s leaders and analysts who follow the company had expected a sales drop in the quarter as inventories already on the market were used up. But they also expect a rebound later this year, as commercial sales take hold, COVID-19 cases climb and fall vaccination pushes begin.

Comirnaty, alone, has already generated well over $70 billion in sales for Pfizer since it launched at the end of 2020. The drugmaker has used the cash on several acquisitions to bolster its pipeline of future products.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told analysts on Tuesday that the company expects to have a better handle by the end of this year on how Paxlovid sales will play out in the future, as the market becomes more predictable.

Chief Financial Officer David Denton noted that the company was prepared to cut costs if sales of both products turn out lower than expected.

Overall, Pfizer’s profit sank 77% to $2.33 billion in the quarter while adjusted earnings totaled 67 cents per share. That topped average analyst expectations for 57 cents per share.

Revenue dropped 54% to $12.73 billon, which missed Street forecasts.

Outside Comirnaty and Paxlovid, Pfizer said its operational revenue grew 5% in the quarter. The drugmaker also produces several primary care drugs, cancer treatments and vaccines.

Pfizer also said Tuesday that it was maintaining its forecast for full-year earnings to range between $3.25 and $3.45 per share.

Analysts forecast earnings of $3.32 per share.

Shares of New York-based Pfizer Inc. slipped 26 cents to $35.80 in midday trading while broader indexes also were down slightly.

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