Pfizer shares drop as COVID expectations for 2024 are adjusted

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has provided a lower sales forecast for 2024, causing its shares to plummet by 9% to a 10-year low. The company's COVID-19 vaccines and treatments revenues, which reached a peak of $57 billion, are now expected to be $8 billion in 2024. This figure is significantly lower than the $13 billion predicted by analysts and even lower than Pfizer's own lowered forecast of $12.5 billion for 2023.

Pfizer's CEO, Albert Bourla, explained that the company wants to be conservative and reliable in its forecasts to avoid creating uncertainty, which was the case this year. The company also provided a adjusted profit forecast for 2024, with expectations of $2.05 to $2.25 per share, lower than the analysts' expectation of $3.16.

Pfizer's shares have been experiencing a decline throughout the year, with a decrease of over 44% so far. The announcement of the lower sales forecast led to an 8.7% drop in morning trading, potentially erasing over $14 billion in market capitalization.

In addition to Pfizer, shares of Moderna and Pfizer's German partner in the vaccine, BioNTech SE, also fell by 5%. Pfizer's lower forecasts come after the announcement of its reorganization of the cancer division and the acquisition of Seagen. The company also raised its cost-cut target by $500 million.

Despite the lower sales forecast, Pfizer expects annual revenue in the range of $58.5 billion to $61.5 billion, slightly lower than analysts' average estimate of $63.17 billion.

Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine and antiviral pill Paxlovid contributed to over $100 billion in revenue in 2022. However, the drop in COVID product sales has forced the company to implement a job and expense reduction program, expected to save at least $4 billion by the end of 2024.

The company's management is taking urgent measures to address its weak stock performance, but the lack of promising pipeline assets and upcoming patent expirations pose challenges for Pfizer in the coming years.


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