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Pfizer Beats Earnings Forecast, Sees $26 Billion In COVID Vaccine Sales

Pfizer said its expects to generate around $26 billion in worldwide sales of its BNT162b2 coronavirus vaccine, a 73% increase from its prior forecast.

Pfizer  (PFE) - Get Pfizer Inc. Report posted stronger-than-expected first quarter earnings Tuesday, and lifted its full-year profit guidance, as it expects to generate around $26 billion in worldwide sales for its BNT162b2 coronavirus vaccine.

Pfizer said adjusted earnings for the three months ending in March were pegged at 86 cents per share, a 7.5% increase from the same period last year and 8 cents ahead of the Street consensus forecast. Group revenues, Pfizer said, rose 21.4% from last year to $14.6 billion, topping analysts' estimates of an $13.63 billion tally.

Looking into the 2021 financial year, Pfizer said its sees adjusted earnings in the region of $3.55 to $3.65 per share -- from its prior forecast of $3.10 to $3.20 per share -- on revenues of between $70.5 billion and $72.5 billion. 

"I am extremely proud of the way we have begun 2021, delivering strong financial results in the first quarter," said CEO Albert Bourla. "Even excluding the growth provided from BNT162b2, our revenues grew 8% operationally, which aligns with our stated goal of delivering at least a 6% compound annual growth rate through 2025. In addition, we have achieved important clinical, regulatory and commercial milestones across our pipeline and portfolio while also continuing to increase our capacity to supply urgently-needed doses of BNT162b2 to the world."

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"Each of these accomplishments further demonstrates our commitment to Pfizer’s purpose: Breakthroughs that change patients’ lives,” he added.  

Pfizer shares were marked 0.4% lower in early trading following the earnings release to change hands at $39.69 each.

Pfizer and its German partner, BioNTech  (BNTX) - Get BioNTech SE Report reached an agreement with the U.S. government in December to bring the pair's total vaccine commitment under the Operation Warp Speed program to 200 million doses, enough to protect just under one third of the total U.S. population, by the end of July.

Worldwide capacity is now approaching at least 3 billion doses by the end of next year, Pfizer said, with a 2.5 billion aim for 2021.  It also noted it plans to ask for expanded approval from the Food & Drug Administration to include children between the ages of 12 and 15.

Coronavirus vaccine sales, Pfizer said, should hit $26 billion by the end of the year, a 73% increase from its prior forecast.