Pfizer’s Q1 2024 Revenue Declines, Offset by Strong Performance of Non-COVID-19 Products

by Bernice Lottering
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Pfizer released its first-quarter 2024 financial report on May 1, reporting a total revenue of $14.879 billion, a 19% decrease from the same period last year. The decline was primarily driven by significant revenue decreases of flagship products Comirnaty and Paxlovid. On the other hand, revenue stemming from non-COVID-19 product lines increased by 11%, with a genetic drug for hemophilia B approved in Canada. Furthermore, the pharma giant beat its expectations, with diluted earnings per share (EPS) at $0.55, and adjusted diluted EPS at $0.82, both up from the expected $0.516. This compares to earnings of $1.23 per share a year ago. In addition, Pfizer also announced that it expects to save at least $4 billion in net costs by the end of 2024.

Full-Year 2024 Revenue Guidance of $58.5 to $61.5 Billion Reaffirmed, non-COVID Revenue up by 11%

On Wednesday, Pfizer announced Q1 revenue and adjusted profit surpassing expectations, simultaneously raising its full-year profit forecast. This was attributed to its extensive cost-cutting initiatives, better-than-expected performance of its COVID antiviral pill Paxlovid, and robust sales of non-COVID products. Despite the anticipated decline in revenue from COVID-19-related products, Pfizer reaffirmed its earlier revenue projection, ranging between $58.5 billion and $61.5 billion, as initially provided in mid-December. This guidance incorporates about $8 billion from Comirnaty and Paxlovid ($5B and $3B, respectively), and approximately $3.1 billion from legacy Seagen. Altogether, Pfizer’s shares have declined by 11% year-to-date, contrasting with the S&P 500’s 5.6% gain. Even so, the company now anticipates reporting adjusted earnings between $2.15 and $2.35 per share for the fiscal year, an increase from its previous estimate of $2.05 to $2.25 per share.

Pfizer’s other product lines showed strong growth momentum, specifically the “non-COVID-19” product line, which achieved revenue growth of 11%. Here, first-quarter 2024 operational revenue growth was primarily fueled by various factors in the oncology and cardiovascular fields. These include $742 million in global revenues from legacy Seagen, acquired in December 2023. The Vyndaqel family globally witnessed a substantial 66% operational increase, driven by robust uptake of the transthyretin amyloid cardiomyopathy (ATTR-CM) indication, particularly in the U.S. and developed European markets. Eliquis experienced a solid 10% operational growth worldwide, propelled by ongoing adoption of oral anti-coagulants and market share gains in the non-valvular atrial fibrillation indication in the U.S. and select European markets. Abrysvo contributed $145 million in global revenues, mainly attributed to its older adult indication launch in the U.S. in July 2023. Then, the Prevnar family globally achieved a 7% operational growth, primarily led by increased demand for the pediatric indication in the U.S. and strong uptake of the adult indication in certain international markets, although there were fewer adult vaccinations in the U.S. The Prevnar 20 vaccine was recently approved in the EU market, making another breakthrough in the vaccine field.

In terms of capital allocation, Pfizer returned $2.4 billion in cash dividends to shareholders in the first quarter of 2024, but did not adopt a share repurchase plan. The financial strategy is geared toward sound capital management to support long-term growth and shareholder returns.

Steady Progress in Bone Marrow, Lymphatic, and Lung Cancer Treatments, with Pipeline Developments Elucidated

In the first quarter of 2024, Pfizer made significant strides in oncology, launching three pivotal Phase 3 clinical trials: Atirmociclib, a selective CDK4 inhibitor, Sigvotatug vedotin, an antibody-drug complex targeting integrin beta-6, and Elrexfio for the treatment of multiple myeloid arthritis tumors. Additionally, Pfizer presented over 50 abstracts at the 2024 ASCO conference, featuring Lorbrena’s 5-year progression-free survival data (CROWN) in ALK+ metastatic non-small cell lung cancer and ADCETRIS’s Phase 3 data in diffuse large cell B-lymphoma (ECHELON-3). Simultaneously, Pfizer advanced its respiratory product portfolio, including the Abrysvo respiratory fusion virus vaccine, while expanding its hematology product portfolio with Beqvez, an AAV gene therapy drug approved in Canada for hemophilia B treatment. Furthermore, Marstacimab, which showed promising results in reducing bleeding in hemophilia A and B in a Phase 3 trial presented at ASH 2023, is expected to be approved by year-end. Lastly, Osivelotor, an allosteric modulator of heme S (HbS) for sickle cell disease (SCD), is poised to commence a Phase 3 clinical trial.

Pfizer released an extensive update on its development pipeline, listing compounds in development along with their targeted indications and specific development phases, including mechanisms of action for Phase 1 and all candidates from Phase 2 to registration.

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