Pfizer projects it will generate record-high revenue in 2022, saying Tuesday it expects to sell $32 billion of its Covid-19 shots and $22 billion of its antiviral coronavirus treatment pill Paxlovid this year.
However, the company posted mixed fourth-quarter results, beating on earnings but missing on revenue. Pfizer’s stock was down more than 5.7% in morning trading.
Here’s how the company performed compared to what Wall Street expected, based on analysts’ average estimates compiled by Refinitiv:
- Adjusted EPS: $1.08 vs. 87 cents expected
- Revenue: $23.84 billion vs. $24.12 billion expected
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said sales of Paxlovid could be higher than the company’s guidance, but the expectations are based on deals signed or close to being signed. Angela Hwang, head of biopharmaceuticals, said Pfizer is an active discussions with over 100 countries around the world on Paxlovid.
Pfizer’s miss on revenue was driven by lackluster sales in its internal medicine and hospital segments. Fourth-quarter internal medicine sales fell 3% year-over-year to $2.24 billion, while hospital sales were largely flat at $1.88 billion. Pfizer’s oncology sales expanded 7% to $3.24 billion compared with the year-earlier period.
However, Pfizer’s fourth-quarter revenue more than doubled overall to $23.84 billion year-over-year, driven by $12.5 billion in sales of its Covid vaccine. The company’s antiviral pill that fights Covid, Paxlovid, contributed $76 million in U.S. sales during the fourth quarter. The Food and Drug Administration gave the pill emergency approval in December.
On an unadjusted basis, Pfizer’s fourth-quarter profit increased more than fourfold to $3.39 billion from $847 million during the same three months in 2020. Pfizer expects $98 billion to $102 billion in sales for 2022, and adjusted earnings per share of $6.35 to $6.55.
Bourla said the company plans to aggressively expand the use of the Covid vaccine’s underlying technology, messenger RNA, to treat rare genetic diseases of the liver, muscle and central nervous system through a collaboration with Beam Therapeutics. Bourla said the company also hopes to reduce the time to produce new vaccines from three months to two months as it explores automated solutions to produce mRNA in collaboration with Codex DNA. Pfizer is also developing a shingles vaccine with BioNTech.
Chief Scientific Officer Mikael Dolsten said a phase two or three study of an mRNA flu vaccine could start this year and conclude in 2023. Pfizer could also have a readout of clinical trials from its respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, vaccine sometime in the second quarter.
Pfizer started a clinical trial late last month of a Covid vaccine that targets the omicron variant in adults ages 18 to 55. Dolsten said Pfizer expects data in the coming weeks on the omicron vaccine. Bourla has previously said the company expects to have the vaccine ready by March.
Read More: Pfizer (PFE) earnings report for the fourth quarter, 2021