Pfizer beats profit estimates, raises 2019 earnings forecast

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© Reuters. A logo for Pfizer is displayed on a monitor on the floor at the NYSE in New York© Reuters. A logo for Pfizer is displayed on a monitor on the floor at the NYSE in New York

(Reuters) – Pfizer Inc (N:) posted a third-quarter profit well ahead of analysts’ estimates on higher sales of breast cancer drug Ibrance and raised its earnings forecast for the year, sending the largest U.S. drugmaker’s shares up 3%.

Under Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla, who took office at the start of the year, Pfizer has streamlined operations and announced in July it would separate its off-patent branded drugs business and combine it with generic drugmaker Mylan NV (O:).

Ibrance sales rose 25% to $1.28 billion in the quarter, ahead of the average estimate of $1.21 billion, according to numbers compiled by brokerage UBS.

The company said it expects to earn between $2.94 per share and $3.00 per share, up from a prior estimate of $2.76 to $2.86. Analysts on average were expecting $2.82 per share, according to Refinitiv IBES.

Net income attributable to Pfizer’s shareholders rose to $7.68 billion, or $1.36 per share, in the quarter, from $4.11 billion, or 69 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding special items, the company earned 75 cents per share, easily beating the average estimate of 62 cents.

Total revenue fell 5% to $12.68 billion as sales of pain treatment Lyrica, which recently lost patent protection in the United States, more than halved to $527 million.

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