Jeff Kindler and his new cfo, Frank D'Amelio, can cut expenses, but can they grow the business? That key question is, once again, underscored after looking at the latest quarterlyearnings report. The world's biggest drugmaker disclsoed that profit fell 18 percent, which meant Pfizer missed Wall Street estimates, thanks to the usual generic competition for Lipitor and its Norvasc blood pressure pill.
Lipitor sales fell 7 percent to $3.1 billion, including a 4 percent gain from foreign exchange, as docs continue to switch patients to a generic version of Merck's Zocor. And sales of Norvasc plunged 52 percent to $513 million, since generics came on the market last March. Net income sank to $2.8 billion, or 41 cents a share, missing estimates by 5 cents. Meanwhile, revenue slid 5 percent to $11.8 billion.
"I'm not sure any real progress can happen this year,'' Linda Bannister, an analyst with Edward Jones, tells Bloomberg News. "We need to continue to see progression in Pfizer's pipeline, and as it continues to progress, we'll get a sense of how many potential blockbusters there are. I'm not sure that will happen this year.''
Few do. Pfizer stock is down 22 percent during the past 12 months.