Pfizer ( PFE) Wednesday posted strong second-quarter profit, as drug revenue jumped 24%, despite another quarterly sales decline for its erectile dysfunction drug Viagra. The company had net income of $2.86 billion, or 38 cents a share, on revenue of $12.27 billion, vs. a loss of $3.59 billion, or 48 cents a share, on revenue of $9.9 billion a year ago. The year-ago quarter reflected the costs of its $56 billion acquisition of rival Pharmacia.. Excluding items, Pfizer's adjusted income grew 54% to $3.61 billion, or 47 cents a share. That compares with $2.34 billion, or 30 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The consensus estimate of analysts was for net income of $3.5 billion, or 46 cents a share, on revenue of $12.29 billion for the second quarter, according to Thomson First Call. The world's No. 1 drugmaker last week lowered its full-year revenue forecast to $52.5 billion to $53 billion -- vs. its April guidance of about $54 billion -- but held to its EPS outlook of $2.13. In April, Pfizer forecast net earnings of $16.3 billion. For the year, analysts expect New York-based Pfizer to post net income of $15.92 billion, or $2.12 a share, on revenue of $52.86 billion. "While a more-challenging business environment, marked by new competition and the effects of less-favorable foreign-exchange rates than we anticipated, led us to revise our full-year 2004 revenue expectations, "the company said in a statement. "Our current and future product portfolio offerings remain robust." Pharmaceutical operations generated revenue of $10.7 billion, up 24% in the second quarter. Worldwide sales of its cholesterol drug Lipitor rose 17% to $2.36 billion. Sales of its Viagra fell 7% to $389 million. The company said its late-stage drug pipeline is on track to deliver 20 major new drug applications in the five-year period ending in 2006, seven of which have already been filed.
Pfizer surprised the markets in the first quarter, when it said worldwide sales of the top-selling Viagra declined 12% to $416 million, while the U.S. sales component sank by 25% to $220 million. The company admitted sales were "not as well as we had hoped" but was taking several steps to fortify Viagra's market presence. For the first quarter, the company earned $3.98 billion -- or 52 cents (a penny better than the consensus forecast) -- on revenue of $12.49 billion. Without adjustments for discontinued operations, acquisitions and other items, Pfizer had first-quarter net income of $2.33 billion, or 31 cents a share.