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Pfizer lifts outlook on higher oncology, vaccine sales

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Pfizer reported better-than-expected earnings Tuesday, as strong sales in oncology and vaccines offset a hit from patent expirations.

[NEW YORK] Pfizer reported better-than-expected earnings Tuesday, as strong sales in oncology and vaccines offset a hit from patent expirations.

The pharma giant reported third-quarter earnings of US$2.1 billion, down 20.1 percent from the year-ago period.

Revenues were US$12.09 billion, down 2.2 percent from the year-ago period, in part due to the impact from the strong dollar.

Pfizer notched strong sales gains in its innovative products business, which includes global vaccines and global oncology, two divisions with strong increases.

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Other outperformers included global sales of the stroke-reduction drug Eliquis, US sales of Lyrica, which is used to treat nerve pain, and of the rheumatoid arthritis drug Xeljanz in the US.

On the downside, sales for Pfizer's other major division, established products, fell 16.3 percent from the year-ago period to US$5.2 billion.

The decline was partly due to the loss exclusivity for some key drugs, including pain-killer Celebrex and the antibiotic Zyvox.

"Our research pipeline continues to advance with a focus on therapeutic areas of high unmet need," said Pfizer chief executive Ian Read, adding that recent advances "could support the development of potential important new therapies to further strengthen our innovative products business." Adjusted earnings for the third quarter translated to 60 cents per share, better than the 51 cents analyst estimate. Revenues also topped the US$11.56 billion analyst estimate by about US$530 million.

Pfizer raised some of its 2015 forecasts, including its 2015 sales to US$47.5-$48.5 billion and adjusted earnings of US$2.16-$2.20.

The prior estimates were for sales of US$46.5-$47.5 billion and adjusted earnings of US$2.04-$2.10 per shares.

AFP

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