TheSTreet

Pfizer Inc. (PFE - Get Report) posted solid fourth quarter earnings Tuesday but issued weaker-than-expected 2019 guidance as the exclusivity of its key epilepsy treatment Lyrica comes to an end. 

Pfizer said earnings for the three months ending in December came in at 64 a share, topping the Street consensus of 63 cents and rising 3.2% from the same period last year. Overall group revenues were pegged at $13.976 billion, Pfizer said, up 2% from the fourth quarter of 2017 and ahead of the $13.9 million estimate.

Looking into 2019, however, Pfizer expects full year earnings of between $2.82 and $2.92 per share, notably lower than the Refinitiv forecast of $3.04, and sales in the range of $52 billion to $54 billion, compared to the 2018 tally of $53.6 billion. 

"We enter 2019 with confidence in the competitive positioning of our businesses, the prospects for our recently launched products and product line extensions, as well as the strength and breadth of our research pipeline," said new CEO Albert Boula, who took over for the retiring Ian Read earlier this month "Our focus remains on advancing science and innovation in areas that we believe will serve the unmet needs of patients and also create the most attractive opportunities for value creation."

Pfizer shares rose 3.1% to close at $40.77 in Tuesday;s trading, trimming the stock's three-month decline to about 8%.