Pfizer raises expectations after huge rollout of Covid-19 vaccine

The company reported first-quarter earnings of 4.88 billion dollars (£3.52 billion).

Pfizer
Pfizer

Pfizer, buoyed by a huge jump in sales for its Covid-19 vaccine and solid performance across most of the company, is hiking its 2021 financial forecast sharply after blowing past Wall Street expectations for the first quarter.

The New York drugmaker and its German partner on the vaccine, BioNTech, continue to sign contracts with multiple countries for their two-dose jab.

They reported 3.46 billion dollars (£2.49 billion) in first-quarter sales and now expect to rake in roughly 26 billion dollars (£18 billion) over the year, up from their prior forecast of about 15 billion dollars.

The companies may soon receive US and EU approval to give the vaccine to 12 to 15-year-olds, and they continue testing the vaccine in other patient groups and on developing new versions that have a longer shelf life and do not require ultracold storage.

HEALTH Coronavirus
(PA Graphics)

Pfizer on Tuesday reported net income of 4.88 billion dollars (£3.52 billion), or 86 cents per share.

That was up from 3.36 billion dollars, or 60 cents per share, in 2020’s first quarter, when the global coronavirus pandemic began triggering lockdowns, and doctor visits and new prescriptions for other medicines dropped significantly.

Adjusted earnings, excluding one-time items, jumped 48% to 5.26 billion dollars (£3.79), or 93 cents per share, far above the 79 cents Wall Street was expecting, according to a survey by Zacks Investment Research.

Revenue was 14.58 billion dollars (£10.51 billion), also easily exceeding forecasts of 13.49 billion dollars.

Pfizer said even without vaccine sales it is meeting its goal of increasing revenue by at least 6% each year through to 2025.

“Excluding the growth provided from (the vaccine), our revenues grew 8% operationally,” chief executive Albert Bourla said in a statement.

Sales of cancer drugs jumped 18% and sales of medicines administered in hospitals rebounded 11% as patients received treatments delayed by hesitance to go to hospitals swamped with Covid-19 patients.

Pfizer now expects full-year earnings in the range of 3.55 to 3.65 dollars per share, up from 3.10 to 3.20 dollars in February, and revenue in the range of 70.5 billion to 72.5 billion dollars, up from 59.4 billion to 61.4 billion dollars in the February forecast.

Pfizer has said that this year it can produce two billion doses of the vaccine.

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