earnings reports

Pfizer lifts forecast, expecting return of medical activity

Agence France-Presse, Agence France-Presse
Pfizer's profits are down 32% to $3.4 billion in the 2nd quarter of 2020, but it sees the situation improving for the rest of the year

Pfizer reported a drop in 2nd quarter profits on Tuesday, July 28, but lifted its full-year forecast on expectations that medical activities curtailed by the coronavirus will return in the 2nd half of 2020.

The drugmaker, which is working on a vaccine for COVID-19, said it temporarily suspended clinical trials during the 2nd quarter and halted marketing meetings with medical professionals, with the latter impacting new prescriptions in the United States and other markets. 

The company also suffered a hit of around $500 million from reduced visits to doctors by patients in the US due to the outbreak.

But these trends were partially offset by higher sales for some items that have been used to treat COVID-19, such as sterile injectable products. 

The drugmaker reported profits of $3.4 billion, down 32% from the year-ago period. Revenues fell 11% to $11.8 billion.

Pfizer boosted its full-year adjusted earnings targets by 3 cents to $2.85 to $2.95 a share. This shift reflects an “ongoing gradual global recovery” from the negative coronavirus impacts in the 1st half of the year, Pfizer said.

The drugmaker expects a “gradual” increase in patients’ visits with physicians, vaccination rates, and elective surgeries, and increases in new prescriptions.

Pfizer said it began dosing patients in the US on Monday, July 27, for a coronavirus vaccine. The current trial plans to enroll up to 30,000 participants.

If the trial is successful, Pfizer and partner BioNTech expect to seek regulatory approval as early as October. 

The US last week signed a $1.95-billion agreement with American pharma giant Pfizer and BioNTech for 100 million doses to be delivered if regulatory approval is granted.

Pfizer rose 2.9% to $38.69 in pre-market trading. – Rappler.com