Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer's ongoing free-fall from its branded best-sellers going generic continued in the second quarter as the company posted declines in both sales and earnings compared to a year ago.
However, the New York-based company did beat Wall Street's downbeat expectations and slightly lifted its forecast for the full year.
Pfizer has seen its sales plunge more than 9% from a high of $54.7 billion in 2012 to $49.6 billion last year. The company is now forecasting revenue of just $45 billion to $46 billion in 2015, a slight upward adjustment from the $44 billion to $46 billion it previously projected.
In the past year, the company lost patent protection for best-sellers like Celebrex, for pain relief; the antibiotic Zyvox; and, in Europe, Lyrica for diabetic peripheral neuropathy and fibromyalgia. Over the next two months, it will lose sales exclusivity for Enbrel in European and Japanese markets. Enbrel accounted for $3.8 billion in sales last year.
“Pfizer still needs to find the answer to its meager growth and will likely continue to seek large acquisitions,” said Maxim Jacobs, an analyst at Edison Investment Research in New York.
The latest quarterly results reflected the ongoing decline at Pfizer. The company posted a 7% drop to $11.5 billion in the second quarter. Earnings plunged 10% to $2.6 billion or $0.56 a share. The decrease included $1 billion in losses from unfavorable foreign exchange rates.
However, Pfizer is doing well with vaccines and cancer drugs, which led to the small increase in the full-year outlook. Global vaccine revenue increased by 44% to $1.58 billion during the quarter compared to $1.09 billion reported for the same period in 2014, while global oncology revenue increased by 25% to $713 million.
The results did manage to beat analyst estimates, which predicted quarterly earnings of around $0.51 a share, according to a consensus estimate conducted by Zacks Investment Research.
The firm's new products—such as the pneumonia vaccine Prevnar 13, as well as the launch in February of its breast cancer treatment Ibrance—were singled out as factors that contributed to the company's positive performance.
“Our second-quarter and year-to-date financial performance is the result of continued business momentum, driven by solid execution of recent product launches," Pfizer CEO Ian Read said.
Shares of Pfizer were up 2% during afternoon trading on Tuesday to $35.13.