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Pfizer Stock Leaps After Q3 Earnings Beat; Sees $36 Billion In COVID Vaccine Sales

Pfizer lifted its full-year COVID vaccine sales forecast to around $36 billion following stronger-than-expected third quarter earnings.

Pfizer Inc.  (PFE) - Get Pfizer Inc. Report posted stronger-than-expected third quarter earnings Tuesday, and boosted its full-year profit forecast while lifting its vaccine sales estimate to around $36 billion.

Pfizer said adjusted earnings for the three months ending in September were pegged at $1.34 per share, an 86% increase from the same period last year and well ahead of the Street consensus forecast of $1.09. Group revenues, Pfizer said, nearly doubled from last year to $24.1 billion, again topping analysts' estimates of an $22.71 billion tally. Around $13 billion of the topline came from vaccine sales, Pfizer said.

Looking into the final months of the year Pfizer said its sees adjusted earnings in the region of $4.13 to $4.18 per share, up from its prior forecast of $3.95 to $4.05 per share, on improved revenues of between $81 billion and $82 billion. 

"While we are proud of our third quarter financial performance, we are even more proud of what these financial results represent in terms of the positive impact we are having on human lives around the world," said CEO Albert Bourla. "We remain on track to achieve our goal of delivering at least two billion doses to low- and middle-income countries by the end of 2022 -- at least one billion to be delivered this year and one billion next year, with the possibility to increase those deliveries if more orders are placed by these countries for 2022."

"One billion of these doses will be supplied to the U.S. government at a not-for-profit price to be donated to the world’s poorest nations at no charge to those countries," he added. "Despite all we have been able to accomplish to date, we remain focused on our future, not our past. Our ultimate goal is to help bring this pandemic to an end as quickly as possible, but also to apply the lessons we have learned through our work on the vaccine to all of our therapeutic areas. We look forward to providing future updates on these efforts.”  

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Pfizer shares closed 4.2% higher following the earnings release to change hands at $45.45 each.

Pfizer said it expects to deliver around 2.3 billion vaccine doses this year, a 200 million increase from its prior forecast, with a total manufacturing total of around 3 billion.

Late last month, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration approved Pfizer's COVID vaccine for use in children between the ages of 5 and 11, potentially making the lower-dose regime available for around 28 million schoolchildren before the end of the year.

That followed a nod by the FDA in September for a Pfizer/BioNtech booster shot for individuals over the age of 65, those between 18 and 64 who are at "high risk of severe COVID-19", and adults whose "frequent institutional or occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2 puts them at high risk of serious complications of COVID-19".

Pfizer's 'Comirnaty' vaccine is already approved for children between the ages of 12 and 15, as well as those over the age of 16 and the broader U.S. population.