Pfizer’s Comirnaty, Paxlovid push Q2 sales to new heights

Sales of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine and treatment in the second quarter propelled the pharmaceutical giant to the largest quarterly sales in its history.

The coronavirus vaccine Comirnaty brought in $8.85 billion in sales, and the treatment Paxlovid added another $8.12 billion as company revenue totaled $27.74 billion.

Pfizer said Thursday that it earned $9.91 billion, or $1.73 per share, in the quarter. Its adjusted earnings were $2.04 per share.

Analysts expected earnings of $1.75 per share on $26.32 billion in sales, according to Zacks Investment Research.

Pfizer Inc., based in New York, also boosted the low end of its 2022 earnings forecast. It now expects adjusted earnings of $6.30 to $6.45 per share. Its previous forecast was for $6.25 to $6.45 per share. It still predicts revenue between $98 billion and $102 billion.

Analysts polled by FactSet forecast full-year earnings of $6.54 per share on revenue of $102.35 billion.

Pfizer maintained its outlook for full-year Comirnaty sales of approximately $32 billion and Paxlovid sales of about $22 billion.

Comirnaty has been, by far, the most popular of the four vaccines approved for use in the United States. More than 355 million doses of the two-shot vaccine have been administered, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The COVID-19 vaccine debuted in late 2020 and became Pfizer’s top-selling product by last year’s second quarter, before children started receiving the preventive shots and adults began receiving booster doses.

Pfizer books the vast majority of revenue from Comirnaty and splits profit, as well as the cost to make and distribute the vaccine, with development partner BioNTech.

Comirnaty and Paxlovid have become key revenue drivers for Pfizer and have helped the pharmaceutical giant build a cash stockpile. In May, Pfizer announced plans to start putting some of that stockpile to use. It said it would spend $11.6 billion in cash to buy the remaining portion of migraine treatment developer Biohaven Pharmaceutical that it does not already own.

Paxlovid is intended for people with COVID-19 who are more likely to become seriously ill. That includes older people and those with other health issues like heart disease, obesity, cancer or diabetes that make them more vulnerable. It isn’t recommended for patients with severe kidney or liver problems. A course of treatment is three pills twice a day for five days.

President Joe Biden took Paxlovid during his recent bout with Covid.

Aside from Comirnaty and Paxlovid, Pfizer products include several cancer treatments, other vaccines and internal medicine drugs like Eliquis, for preventing blood clots and strokes.

In morning trading, Pfizer shares lost 2.8% to $50.13.

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