Pfizer PFE Q4 2020 results fell short of expectations, but sales exceeded expectations

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Pfizer said Tuesday it expects to sell about $ 15 billion in coronavirus vaccine doses this year and make a profit on the high 20% sales margin for the vaccinations.

At the time of its fourth quarter earnings release, Pfizer was forecasting revenue of between $ 59.4 billion and $ 61.4 billion for this year and anticipating high pre-tax adjusted earnings of 20% for the vaccine.

The company also raised its full-year earnings guidance from $ 3.10 to $ 3.10-3.20, citing “additional improvements” to its guidance for vaccine sales.

According to Refinitiv’s average estimates, Pfizer performed in the fourth quarter compared to Wall Street expectations.

  • Adjusted EPS: 42 cents compared to 48 cents expected.
  • Revenue: $ 11.68 billion versus $ 11.43 billion expected.

Revenue rose 12% from $ 10.44 billion in the same quarter last year to $ 11.68 billion – better than analysts expected.

Pfizer shares were down 2.8% in midday trading.

“As a company, we have seen the culmination of Pfizer’s decades of transformation into a pure science and innovation-driven company,” said CEO Albert Bourla in a press release. “Our ability to move forward quickly and use the latest scientific knowledge to address the world’s major medical challenges has been tested by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The company’s Covid-19 vaccine, which it makes together with German partner BioNTech, was the first to be approved for emergency use in the United States

Pfizer, like other Covid vaccine manufacturers, is struggling to meet demand for shots which, hopefully, will help end the pandemic. Recently, the French pharmaceutical company Sanofi was asked for help with making cans.

In slides released ahead of the earnings call, Pfizer plans to ship 200 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine to the U.S. by May, earlier than originally forecast in July.

The company also said it could potentially deliver 2 billion doses globally by the end of this year, as healthcare providers can extract an additional sixth dose of the vaccine from the vials. In December, the Food and Drug Administration announced that additional doses from vials could be used after the cans were discarded due to labeling confusion.

The company also said Tuesday it would be “ready to respond” if a variant of Covid shows evidence of bypassing its vaccine. In the past few weeks, U.S. health officials, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, raised concerns that vaccines currently on the market may not be as effective against new, more contagious strains of the virus.

Novavax said Thursday its vaccine was only 49% effective against B.1.351, the highly contagious strain in South Africa. Johnson & Johnson also said its vaccine was less effective against the strain. On Friday, his one-time vaccine was 66% effective overall, but only 57% in South Africa.

A study conducted by Pfizer found that the new, highly contagious strains in the UK and South Africa had little impact on the effectiveness of the vaccine. Nevertheless, Pfizer is developing a booster shot to protect itself from the new variants. Moderna and Novavax are also developing modified vaccines.

In the slides, Pfizer said that patients “likely need regular boosting to maintain the immune response and counter newly emerging variant strains.”