(Associated Press) Strong sales of its COVID-19 vaccine and other medicines helped Pfizer nearly double its second-quarter revenue and boost its profit an impressive 59%, beating Wall Street expectations and leading the drug giant to sharply hike its 2021 sales and profit forecasts.
Amid the surging coronavirus pandemic, the COVID-19 vaccine became Pfizer’s top seller, bringing in $7.84 billion from direct sales and revenue split with its partner, Germany’s BioNTech.
The New York company now anticipates revenue from the two-dose vaccine this year to reach $33.5 billion for the 2.1 billion doses it’s contracted to provide by year end. That’s just $2 billion shy of Pfizer’s total revenue in the second quarter last year.
Pfizer disclosed that ongoing testing of a booster shot, given six months after the second vaccine dose, showed it raised antibody levels against the more-transmissible Delta variant to 11 times higher in older people and five times higher in younger people, compared to levels after two doses.
The company noted that by the end of September, testing in 5- through 11-year-old volunteers should produce the safety and efficacy data needed to seek emergency use authorization in that age group, and data on testing in children from 6 months to 5 years old should follow soon after. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration currently is reviewing data that could lead to full approval of the vaccine for adults.
The maker of breast cancer drug Ibrance on Wednesday reported second-quarter net income of $5.56 billion, or 98 cents per share, up from $3.49 billion, or 62 cents per share.
Adjusted income, excluding one-time gains and losses, amounted to $6.08 billion, or $1.07 per share, well above the 97 cents that Wall Street had expected, according to a survey by Zacks Investment Research.
The drugmaker also beat revenue expectations, posting revenue of $18.98 billion, up from $9.86 billion a year earlier.
Pfizer shares rose 75 cents, or 1.8%, at $42.85.
In a prepared statement, Pfizer Chief Executive Albert Bourla called the quarter “remarkable,” noting Pfizer and BioNTech have already delivered more than 1 billion doses of their COVID-19 vaccine globally. Bourla noted the rest of Pfizer’s business posted sales growth of 10%, excluding effects of currency exchange rates.
Sales jumped by double digits for Pfizer’s drugs for cancer and rare diseases, as well as its medicines primarily used in hospitals. Sales of Eliquis, for preventing blood clots and strokes, jumped 16% to $1.48 billion, while Ibrance sales edged up 4% to $1.4 billion in the quarter. Sales of Pfizer’s portfolio of sterile injectable drugs rose 12% to $1.38 billion.
Pfizer’s pneumonia vaccine Prevnar 13 — until now the world’s most lucrative vaccine — saw sales climb 11% to $1.24 billion amid the pandemic. The company won U.S. approval in June for an updated version for adults, Prevnar 20, that protects against seven more strains of pneumococcal disease.
In May, Pfizer and partner Myovant got approval for Myfembree, for reducing heavy menstrual bleeding due to uterine fibroids in premenopausal women.
Pfizer said it now expects adjusted full-year earnings in the range of $3.95 to $4.05 per share, up from its May forecast of $3.55 to $3.65 per share, and revenue in the range of $78 billion to $80 billion, up from $70.5 billion to $72.5 billion.