Pfizer Inc shares recovered much of their premarket trading losses, down about 40bps to $43.38 by early afternoon trading. The big story today, besides the drug company forecasting Covid product sales will slump this year, is the massive losses in market capitalization this month.
Year-to-date, Pfizer shares are down 15%, evaporating $43 billion in market cap — the worst monthly decline since 2009.
Here’s what Wall Street analysts are saying about the weaker-than-estimated sales outlook for Pfizer’s Covid products (list courtesy of Bloomberg):
Wells Fargo (equal weight): Analyst Mohit Bansal expects the stock to be weak on the guidance miss “with focus on how 2023 can be a COVID trough year.”
- Says the outlook being below consensus was “not a huge surprise” as investors expected it
- “The guidance for the most part came in line with our expectations, but we suspect the stock could be weak as it missed sell side consensus by a good margin,” he writes
BMO Capital Markets (outperform): Analyst Evan David Seigerman says the 2023 revenue guidance was light due to lower Covid revenues and higher expenses
- “All in we think it’s better than it could have been, given the uncertainty around how the company would forecast Covid-19 revenues,” the analyst writes
Cantor Fitzgerald (overweight): Analyst Louise Chen says the guidance miss was “widely anticipated” and that was why the stock had been weak into the earnings report
- “We continue to believe that the sales potential of PFE’s products and pipeline remain underappreciated in 2025+,” Chen writes
- “Pfizer’s potentially confusing 2023 forecast that’s about 20% below consensus adjusted EPS is largely attributable to about $2 billion of incremental SG&A and R&D expenses as the company launches 19 new drugs and indications in the next 18 months,” analyst John Murphy writes
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Pfizer Inc shares slid as much as 3.5% in premarket trading (before bouncing back) after the company forecasted COVID-19 vaccine sales for 2023 would miss the average Wall Street estimate by more than $2.5 billion.
The New York-based drug company expects Covid vaccine sales this year to be around $13.5 billion, below analysts’ $16 billion forecast. Sales for its Covid pill Paxlovid were forecasted at about $8 billion, below the $9.2 billion expected by analysts.
Pfizer expects revenue for Covid-19 vaccines and pills to slide this year because of large government stockpiles but might see an increase in sales in 2024.
Revenue might fall even more this year as Americans appear to be pushing back on getting booster after booster.
Pfizer projects revenue this year to be between $67 billion and $71 billion after skyrocketing 23% to $100 billion in 2022.
For the fourth quarter, revenue was up by 2% to $24.29 billion, supported by the growth in the primary care business as Covid vaccine demand slumped.
Pfizer shares dropped as much as 3.5% in premarket trading. Shares are down 12.5% since topping around $54.70 in December.
But, as things tend to do, Pfizer shares were panic-bid back into the green as the cash market opened…
Analysts have been concerned about Covid vaccine demand woes this year, leading Wells Fargo’s Mohit Bansal to downgrade the company from a buy in mid-January to equal weight. Bansal was concerned about near-term earnings risk due to falling demand for Covid products.
UBS analyst Colin Bristow cut Pfizer to neutral from buy, reiterating Bansal’s point about slumping demand for Covid products and a product pipeline that’s “not quite ready for prime time.”
There are currently nine buys and 15 holds, though no sells on Pfizer by analysts. Their average 12-month target is around $53.44.
What’s clear in this quarterly report is that Americans are pushing back against taking their gene therapy drug that government officials, big pharma, mainstream media, celebrities, and anyone else pushed so hard over the last few years.