Insights

7 Ways Pfizer Is Firing on All Cylinders

Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) announced its second-quarter results before the market opened on Thursday. Pfizer’s shares fell around 4% in early trading following the announcement.

Based on the reaction from investors, you might think the big drugmaker reported disappointing news. However, the company actually delivered overwhelmingly positive results. Here are seven ways that Pfizer is firing on all cylinders.

1. Record-high revenue

Pfizer reported Q2 revenue of $27.7 billion, up 47% year over year. On an operational basis (which excludes the impact of foreign exchange), the drugmaker’s revenue soared 53% higher. 

This total reflected the highest quarterly revenue in Pfizer’s history. It also handily beat the average Wall Street estimate of $25.7 billion. 

2. Sizzling earnings growth

If you liked Pfizer’s revenue increase, you’ll love its earnings growth. The company posted Q2 net income of $9.9 billion based on generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), a 78% year-over-year jump. Even better, Pfizer’s adjusted earnings skyrocketed 94% to nearly $11.7 billion.

The consensus analysts’ earnings estimate for Pfizer’s second quarter was $1.80. The big pharma company blew past that number with adjusted diluted earnings per share of $2.04. This reflected 92% year-over-year growth on a reported basis and a 100% increase excluding the impact of foreign exchange.

3. Paxlovid on a roll

One product especially stood out as a huge winner for Pfizer in the second quarter: Paxlovid. The company announced Q2 sales of the COVID-19 pill of over $8.1 billion. The utilization of Paxlovid has increased nearly five-fold since the first quarter of 2022.

Pfizer expects Paxlovid will generate even greater sales in the second half of 2022. A recent decision by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to allow authorized state-licensed pharmacists to prescribe the COVID-19 therapy will no doubt help boost sales.

4. Comirnaty gaining market share

Comirnaty was again Pfizer’s top-selling product. The COVID-19 vaccine raked in sales of more than $8.8 billion in Q2, up 20% year over year on an operational basis.

Importantly, Comirnaty continues to gain market share. At the beginning of this year, the cumulative share of doses administered of Pfizer’s vaccine was 52%. As of July 20, that figure had risen to 63%. In developed markets, Comirnaty’s market share has increased from 59% to 68% during the same period.

5. Four other blockbusters with soaring sales 

Pfizer’s success story isn’t limited to COVID-19. The company also had four other blockbuster products deliver double-digit-percentage sales growth in Q2.

Sales for blood thinner Eliquis in Q2 jumped 23% year over year on an operational basis to more than $1.7 billion. Pfizer’s Prevnar pneumococcal vaccine franchise delivered Q2 sales of $1.4 billion, up 18% on an operational basis. 

The drugmaker reported $552 million in Q2 sales for rare-heart-disease drug Vyndaqel/Vyndamax, reflecting 18% year-over-year operational growth. Sales for kidney cancer drug Inlyta also rose 11% to $274 million.

6. Increased 2022 guidance

Pfizer is also now more optimistic about full-year 2022. The company increased its full-year revenue guidance by $2 billion on an operational basis. It also boosted its adjusted earnings per share (EPS) guidance for 2022 by $0.24 on an operational basis.

This increased guidance might not seem obvious at first glance. Pfizer’s projected full-year revenue range is still between $98 billion and $102 billion, just as it was three months ago. The top end of the company’s adjusted EPS range is also still $6.45.

However, despite negative foreign exchange headwinds, Pfizer’s operational revenue growth outlook has improved. Also, the company raised the lower end of its adjusted EPS guidance from $6.25 to $6.30, resulting in an increase in the midpoint of its guidance range.

7. Key catalysts on the way

More good news could be on the way. Pfizer expects at least seven pivotal readouts from clinical studies in the second half of 2022. It also plans to announce results from at least four other earlier-stage trials.

Over the next 18 months, Pfizer thinks that it will win up to 15 new approvals and announce results from up to 14 pivotal clinical studies. These milestones are key to the company’s goal to launch 25 breakthrough products by 2025. 

Why aren’t investors excited?

One key reason why all this good news isn’t exciting investors is that they’re uncertain about the future outlook for Comirnaty and Paxlovid. Another is that Pfizer faces a patent cliff later this decade with multiple blockbuster drugs losing patent exclusivity.

Pfizer hit the ball out of the park in Q2. But investors are more focused on whether or not the company can continue to fire on all cylinders in the coming years.

Keith Speights has positions in Pfizer. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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