Pfizer also said it plans to cut its workforce by about 10%, reduce the number of manufacturing sites to 41 from 46, and slash its dividend. The drugmaker also cut its forecast for 2009 earnings.

Revenue in the fourth quarter fell 4% to $12.4 billion from $12.9 billion a year earlier.

Excluding about $2.3 billion in legal charges for investigations into off-label marketing practices, profit rose to 65 cents a share, Pfizer said, topping the estimate of analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters of 59 cents a share.

Wyeth also released its results, saying it earned 78 cents a share in the fourth quarter, before items were factored in. Revenue fell to $5.35 billion from $5.76 billion a year earlier. Analysts were expecting a profit of 79 cents a share and sales of $5.79 billion.

The news of the Wyeth agreement effectively puts an end to speculation that Pfizer might make a move on one of the big biotech companies such as Amgen ( AMGN), Biogen Idec ( BIIB) or Gilead ( GILD), but it will also likely keep M&A as a front-and-center topic in the drug sector.
Copyright 2008 Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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