By Josh Nathan-Kazis
Pfizer is set to report fourth-quarter earnings on Tuesday morning, after a year of big deals and disappointing stock performance.
Analysts expect the company to report a loss of $0.18 a share for the quarter, and revenue of $14.4 billion, according to FactSet.
Pfizer issued a reset in December, laying out guidance for 2024 that was well below what analysts had expected, and highlighting a $4 billion cost savings program.
It said it expects adjusted diluted earnings of between $2.05 and $2.25 this year, and revenue between $58.5 billion and $61.5 billion. The consensus estimate is $2.27 per share.
Pfizer shares are down 4.9% so far this year, and 37.1% over the past 12 months. The company made a string of major deals in recent years, notably the $43 billion acquisition of the cancer-focused biotech Seagen, and the $11 billion acquisition of Biohaven Pharmaceuticals in 2022.
Those deals have yet to inspire investors. The company is facing a significant patent cliff toward the end of this decade, when it expects to lose $17 billion in annual revenue. The patent expirations are set to kick in next year. Meanwhile, the company’s obesity pill, which is still in clinical trials, delivered repeated disappointments, and its path to regulatory approval and a significant market position no longer seems clear.
Investors will be listening on Tuesday for updates on the company’s cost-cutting program.
Also of interest is the performance of its respiratory syncytial virus vaccine, which was newly-approved last year. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla criticized his own company’s commercial rollout of the RSV vaccine at an investor conference in January, saying that while sales were higher than expected, the company only seized 35% of the market.
“That’s not Pfizer,” he said.
Just over a year earlier, in November of 2022, Bourla told Barron’s he expected Pfizer would be a leader in the RSV vaccine market.
Pfizer’s Tuesday report kicks off a busy week in big pharma earnings that will include reports from virtually every big pharma name.
Write to Josh Nathan-Kazis at firstname.lastname@example.org