Pfizer stock fell 0.9% in premarket trading on Tuesday after the pharma giant said Paxlovid, its antiviral drug for treating COVID-19, will generate less in sales this year than many thought.
Pfizer said it estimates full-year sales for Paxlovid at $22 billion compared to market estimates of just under $27 billion.
The forecast overshadowed a quarter, in which Pfizer’s earnings and revenue both came in well ahead of expectations. Adjusted earnings per share were $1.62, some 10c ahead of forecasts, while revenue was $25.66 billion, some 6% ahead.
The group’s two COVID drugs accounted for nearly all of a 76% year-on-year rise in revenue. Excluding sales of Paxlovid and its COVID-19 vaccine COMIRNATY, revenue was up a relatively modest 2%.
Also weighing on the stock was a slight downward revision to its full-year earnings guidance, due to changes in the way it accounts for R&D expenses. Pfizer said it now expects adjusted EPS this year of between $6.25 and $6.45, due to an 11c hit from the adjustment. R&D expenses overall are now seen around $500 million higher than previously.
The company nonetheless repeated its full-year guidance of around $100 billion in revenue, with slightly better-than-expected organic sales growth being offset by foreign exchange effects. The dollar’s appreciation so far this year will shave around $1 billion from Pfizer’s share of revenue from COMINARTY, and $500 million from Paxlovid sales.