How Will Pfizer's Earnings Look Tomorrow?


Tomorrow, Pfizer will release its latest quarterly results. The key to making smart investment decisions on stocks reporting earnings is to anticipate how they'll do before they announce results, leaving you fully prepared to respond quickly to whatever surprises inevitably arise. That way, you'll be less likely to have an uninformed, knee-jerk reaction that turns out to be exactly the wrong move.

As the larger of the pure pharmaceutical plays in the Dow Jones Industrials , Pfizer has offered investors a nice mix of solid dividend income and growth potential from its pipeline of drug candidates. But after going over the patent cliff in recent years, Pfizer has had to work harder than ever to keep itself moving forward. Let's take an early look at what's been happening with Pfizer over the past quarter and what we're likely to see in its quarterly report.

Stats on Pfizer

Analyst EPS Estimate


Change From Year-Ago EPS


Revenue Estimate

$14 billion

Change From Year-Ago Revenue


Earnings Beats in Past 4 Quarters


Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Can Pfizer stay healthy this quarter?
Analysts have been largely neutral on Pfizer's earnings prospects lately, having added a penny per share to their estimates for the first quarter but also cut their full-year 2013 consensus by a penny. However, investors have been more optimistic, bidding the stock up nearly 14% since late January.

The big news for Pfizer this quarter is that it will be the first full quarter since blood-thinner Eliquis got FDA approval. With analysts expecting as much as $3 billion to $5 billion in annual sales for the drug, both Pfizer and development partner Bristol-Myers Squibb are relying on Eliquis to gain blockbuster status and take some of the pressure off their overall revenues.

But Pfizer has plenty of other promising candidates in its pipeline. Earlier this month, breast cancer treatment palbociclib received designation as a "breakthrough therapy," giving Pfizer an expedited pathway through the development, review, and approval process. With the treatment helping patients using Novartis drug Femara more than triple their progression-free survival rates, palbociclib has the advantage of being available in oral form, whereas many of its potential competitors require injection.

The other major move that Pfizer made during the quarter was to launch an initial public offering of 20% of its interest in its Zoetis animal-health division. Given the prospects for growth in animal health -- pet owners are willing to spend big to keep their pets healthy -- Zoetis will have a good shot at gaining its share of an expanding pie even in the face of strong competition, and Pfizer shareholders will continue to reap rewards of those gains because of Pfizer's 80% ownership of Zoetis.

In Pfizer's quarterly report, look particularly at sales of Eliquis to see if it got off to a good start. If Pfizer's share of revenue from the drug can offset what it lost from Lipitor, then Eliquis could provide a new leg up for the company and its stock.

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