Lacklustre drug sales growth weighs on Pfizer

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Sales of several Pfizer drugs fell shy of Wall Street expectations in the first quarter as the pharmaceuticals group posted revenues below analyst expectations.

The company reported revenues of $12.8bn for the first quarter versus the typical analyst forecast of $13.1bn, although adjusted earnings of 69 cents per share were two cents ahead of expectations.

Taking currency fluctuations into account, revenues were down 1 per cent compared to a year ago, Pfizer said, as it blamed a shorter quarter that had resulted in one fewer “selling days” in the US and two fewer internationally.

Several of Pfizer’s best-known brands fell short, including US sales of Viagra, the erectile dysfunction drug, Prevnar, its pneumococcal vaccine, and Ibrance, its breast cancer medicine.

The group reaffirmed its full-year financial guidance for revenues between $52bn and $54bn and adjusted earnings per share between $2.50 and $2.60.

Shares of the company fell by 1 per cent in premarket trading.

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