Pfizer swings to a profit, but misses Wall Street expectations

Pfizer swings to a small profit in the fourth quarter as rising medicine sales helped offset big increases in spending on research and production, but it still misses Wall Street expectations.

The New York drugmaker, the first company to get US emergency use authorization for a COVID-19 vaccine, reports fourth-quarter net income of $594 million, or 10 cents per share. A year earlier, Pfizer posted a loss of $337 million, or 6 cents per share, mainly due to a big writedown on the value of eczema drug Eucrisa.

Excluding one-time items, adjusted earnings came to 42 cents per share, or 4 cents shy of Wall Street projections, according to a survey by Zacks Investment Research.

Illustrative: A pharmacist prepares a syringe of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine Friday, Jan. 8, 2021, in Seattle. (AP/Ted S. Warren)

The maker of the world’s top-selling vaccine, Prevnar 13 for preventing pneumonia and related bacterial diseases, reports revenue of $11.68 billion, up 12% from 2019’s fourth quarter. That beats Wall Street forecasts for $11.01 billion.

Pfizer says it expects full-year earnings in the range of $3.10 to $3.20 per share, with revenue in the range of $59.4 billion to $61.4 billion.

Shares are essentially flat before the opening bell.

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