Vaccines beat Pfizer’s expectations in last quarter

COVID-19 vaccine sales far beat Pfizer’s fourth-quarter expectations, but the drug maker has set a lower-than-expected target for 2022.

Pfizer released full-year forecasts for both earnings and revenue on Tuesday that fell short of analysts’ expectations, even as the drug maker expects another solid year of sales for its Comirnaty vaccine and new coronavirus drug Paxlovid.

Its shares began to fall in early trading.

Pfizer expects Comirnaty to generate another $32 billion in sales in 2022, while Wall Street expects more than $34 billion. Both the company and the street expect another $22 billion in sales from Paxlovid, which received regulatory approval in the United States just before Christmas.

Overall, Pfizer is forecasting adjusted earnings for the new year in the range of $6.35 to $6.55 per share on revenue of $98 billion to $102 billion.

Industry analysts are forecasting earnings of $6.71 per share on revenue of $103.18 billion, according to FactSet.

Pfizer’s two-time coronavirus vaccine generated $36.78 billion in revenue in 2021, its first full year on the market.

Sales of $12.5 billion recorded in the fourth quarter helped Pfizer double its revenue compared to the last quarter of 2020.

The COVID-19 vaccine became Pfizer’s best-selling product in the second quarter of last year, before children began receiving preventive shots and adults began receiving booster doses.

The New York-based drug maker records the vast majority of Comirnaty’s revenue and shares profits and vaccine production and distribution costs with development partner BioNTech.

In addition to Comirnaty and Paxlovid, Pfizer’s products include several cancer drugs, other vaccines, and internal medicines such as Eliquis to prevent blood clots and strokes.

Overall, Pfizer reported adjusted earnings of $1.08 for the fourth quarter on revenue of $23.84 billion.

Analysts were expecting earnings of 87 cents per share on sales of $24.16 billion in the fourth quarter.

The company’s shares fell more than 3%, or $1.97, to $51.24 before the markets opened.

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