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Maven: Pfizer's Future

In the star-shine of this morning's predawn hours, it became clear to The Business Press Maven that one week after Pfizer's (PFE) pumping of its prospects, then dumping of its signature new drug, we have hit the most important stage of news coverage.

With a touch of the perspective that time can give a business journalist, he can ask the all-important question: Where, exactly, can Pfizer go from here?

The answer -- if there is, in fact, a coherent, specific, workable one -- is of immense importance to investors. Opportunity can obviously be had by investing in a once-great company coming off a huge disappointment if there is an identifiable way to form a comeback plan. Without a certain plan, though, investors need to beware. The most common trapdoor of investing awaits those who reflexively buy formerly good companies on bad dips because of investment maxims that are actually famous last words, such as "It can't get worse" or "I'll just trade the bounce up."

Fortunately for the smart investor, the company's course of action (or lack thereof) is usually outlined for us right there in the business media, the week after the event. That's why The Business Press Maven was intrigued to see a Barron's Online headline, which bumptiously declared " Pfizer Can Overcome Flop."

Considering how many people died in the torcetrapib trials, I found the lead almost comically tasteless: "Patients and their doctors weren't the only ones left heartbroken this weekend ... investors, too."

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