Drugmaker Pfizer Starts Low With 2023 Earnings Forecast

FILE - A man walks by Pfizer headquarters, Friday, Feb. 5, 2021 in New York. Pfizer reports their earnings Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

(AP) – Pfizer surprised Wall Street with a prediction for a bigger-than-expected sales drop this year for two key products: its COVID-19 vaccine and treatment.

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The drugmaker also released an earnings forecast that is below analyst expectations, sending shares lower before the opening bell Tuesday.

Pfizer expects sales of both the vaccine Comirnaty and the treatment Paxlovid to tumble next year before starting to rebound. That drop was expected as the drugmaker shifts from supplying government contracts to sales on the commercial market in the United States.

But Pfizer said Tuesday that it expects Comirnaty sales to tumble 64% to about $13.5 billion this year. It predicts a 58% drop for Paxlovid to about $8 billion.

Wall Street expects more than $14 billion in sales from Comirnaty and another $10.5 billion from Paxlovid, according to FactSet.

Overall, Pfizer predicts that adjusted earnings will range between $3.25 and $3.45 per share in the new year.

Analysts forecast earnings of $4.34 per share.

In the recently completed fourth quarter, Pfizer booked nearly half of its $24.29 billion in revenue from its top-selling COVID-19 vaccine Comirnaty. The company brought in another $1.8 billion from Paxlovid.

The drugmaker posted adjusted earnings of $1.14 per share.

Analysts forecast fourth-quarter earnings of $1.05 per share on $24.38 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.

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