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Stockwatch: Specialty shines and biotech rains

This article was originally published in Scrip

Executive Summary

With the second quarter 2011 earnings season now well past the half way mark, of the majors only Pfizer had yet to report. When Pfizer did report on August 2, the headline numbers were flat and uninspiring, but at least not disappointing. Pfizer’s net profit rose five percent from the same quarter in 2010 to $2.61 billion and met consensus estimates. Similarly, sales fell by two percent compared to the second quarter last year at $17 billion, again meeting analysts’ estimates, if only from a four percent gain due to a weakening dollar. Pfizer’s previous guidance for the year was re-iterated, and will be achieved by R&D cuts in the face of its best-selling lipid-lowering drug Lipitor (atorvastatin) going generic in the US.

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