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The Pfizer logo is seen at their world headquarters in New York April 28, 2014. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File photo

Pfizer profit just misses; company scraps cholesterol drug

REUTERS: Pfizer Inc , the largest U.S. drugmaker, reported a quarterly adjusted profit that just missed analysts’ estimates, and the company shaved 4 cents off its 2016 earnings forecast after scrapping development of a cholesterol-lowering treatment.

The drugmaker earned 61 cents per share in the third quarter, excluding special items, missing the average analyst estimate by 1 cent, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Pfizer’s new breast cancer treatment, Ibrance, generated sales of US$550 million, missing the consensus forecast of US$576 million compiled by Evercore ISI.

The company’s Lyrica pain drug brought in sales of US$1.05 billion, missing expectation of US$1.28 billion, but its Prevnar vaccine generated US$1.54 billion, above the forecast of US$1.48 billion.

Pfizer also said on Tuesday it was abandoning the development of its cholestrol-lowering drug, bococizumab, citing an “evolving treatment landscape”.

The company lowered the upper end of its 2016 adjusted earnings forecast to US$2.43 from US$2.48 per share, while retaining the lower end at US$2.38.

Pfizer also bumped up the lower end of its revenue forecast to US$52 billion from US$51 billion, while reaffirming the upper end at US$53 billion.

Bococizumab, which belongs to a pricey new class of medicines called PCSK9 inhibitors, was always going to be late to the party, since two rival drugs hit the market last summer – Praluent, co-developed by Regeneron and Sanofi SA and Repatha from Amgen Inc .

Pfizer’s shares were down about 1 percent at US$31.40 in premarket trading.

(Reporting by Natalie Grover in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

– Reuters

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