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Pfizer cuts full-year forecast on stronger dollar

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US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer reported on Tuesday a slight rise in first-quarter profit but lowered its full-year forecast, citing a hit to sales from the stronger dollar.

[NEW YORK] US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer reported on Tuesday a slight rise in first-quarter profit but lowered its full-year forecast, citing a hit to sales from the stronger dollar.

Pfizer said that recent changes in foreign exchange rates, primarily the dollar's gains against the weakening euro, would impact foreign sales.

It cut its 2015 full-year sales estimate to US$44.0 to US$46.0 billion, from US$44.5 to US$46.5 billion.

Adjusted earnings per share would be US$1.95 to US$2.05, five cents less than previously estimated, the company said, saying the lowered expectations were "solely" related to the forex impact.

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"Our update to these guidance components is solely due to recent negative changes in foreign exchange rates and does not reflect any unfavorable changes to our operational outlook for the year," said Frank D'Amelio, chief financial officer, in a statement.

Pfizer posted net income of US$2.376 billion in the first three months of the year, 2.0 per cent higher than in the same period in 2014.

Adjusted earnings were 51 cents per share, two cents better than the consensus Wall Street estimate.

Revenue of US$10.86 billion was down 4.3 per cent from a year ago, and missed analyst estimates of US$10.72 billion.

Pfizer, one of the world's largest drug companies, said it had improved operational revenues by 2.0 per cent despite the loss of exclusive rights to various treatments.

"We began the year with good performance on both the top and bottom line and I believe the company is well-positioned in terms of in-line products, recent product launches, geographic reach and product pipeline," said Ian Read, Pfizer chairman and chief executive, in the statement.

Pfizer agreed to buy Hospira in a US$17 billion deal in the first quarter, adding Hospira's portfolio of sterile injectable treatments and biosimilar drugs to Pfizer's broad pharma offerings.

The company said it had repurchased US$6.0 billion of common shares in the first quarter.

AFP

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