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Hit by Lipitor loss, Pfizer earnings better than expected

This article was originally published in Scrip

Executive Summary

Everyone who watched pharma markets expected Pfizer earnings to take a nosedive after generic competition for its blockbuster anticholesterol Lipitor began in the US last November. When the company released its final 2011 figures on January 31, the pictures was not rosy: net income was $1.44 billion, just under half what it has been in the fourth quarter of 2010. But when restructuring, litigation, and other charges were deducted, the results were not quite as bad as analysts had expected. Those adjusted earnings came in at 50 cents a share, up from the 47 cents a share that Pfizer reported for the October-December period in 2010. A pre-announcement poll of analysts had predicted the figure would be 47 cents for 2011 as well.

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