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Pfizer Nears Deals for Nutrition, Animal Health Units: Report

"Read believes the most likely scenario to be a sale of Nutritionals and an IPO/split-off of Animal Health," wrote Rubin, who added that the company could boost earnings per share by using proceeds from the deals for share buybacks.

In a split, Pfizer would be more focused on its growth oriented pharmaceuticals business and a stable generics business, argues Rubin, who sees the moves netting Pfizer 18 cents a share in EPS.

A second step would then be a rationalization of Pfizer's organizational structure after the disposals, with efficiency efforts likely to wrench out a $26 a share stock value that puts Pfizer on Goldman Sachs' "America's conviction buy list."

The final step, a full split of Pfizer's drugs businesses, could come in two to three years' time, with the possibility that the moves drive $5.7 billion in additional sales, adding 93 cents to earnings per share, according to Rubin.

In December 2010, Ian Read took over as CEO of Pfizer after the retirement of Jeffrey Kindler, and has led sweeping change. The company has revamped its drug R&D processes, launched dividend and share buyback increases and announced multi-billion dollar sale and spinoff efforts.

"In our view, Pfizer has emerged a new company, with significant execution still ahead but the important groundwork laid down. While 2011 was clearly a transformative year for Pfizer with sweeping catalysts that unlocked shareholder value, we continue to see significant and stock-moving catalysts ahead," wrote Rubin.

Previously, the company had been one of the most aggressive post-crisis M&A players, buying Wyeth in 2009 for over $60 billion and King Pharmaceuticals for $3.3 billion a year later. Overall, Pfizer has cut $230 billion worth of deals since 1987, according to Bloomberg data, which shows that its average acquisition is nearly $4 billion.

In 2011, Pfizer saw its profitability rise to a post-recession high of $12.8 billion on sales of nearly $67.5 billion.

For more on healthcare sector spinoffs see how a Covidien split continues the breakup of the Tyco empire. See 5 short sighted stock spinoffs for more on corporate breakups.

-- Written by Antoine Gara in New York.

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