Tuesday wasn't kind to Pfizer ( PFE) and its stock, with shares in the Big Pharma giant plummeting 2.05% following downbeat earnings for the third quarter. In addition, the company lowered its full-year guidance.
To add to these woes, Pfizer has revealed that it is giving up on a drug that was already in Phase 3 trials and that could have been promising.
All these factors combined to frustrate investors, who headed for the exits yesterday. Pfizer shares sank nearly two percentage points in Tuesday trading. Moreover, despite the recent lowering of its share price, investors should stay away from Pfizer and many other Big Pharma stocks.
On Tuesday, Pfizer announced that it had recorded a profit of $1.32 billion, or 21 cents per share, for the third quarter. However, for the same quarter last year, profit had been $2.13 billion, or 34 cents a share.
Even more frustrating to its investors was Pfizer's downward revision of full-year adjusted earnings, now forecast at $2.38 to $2.43 per share, a 5-cent reduction for the high end of that range.
Pfizer also announced that it is canceling its attempt to return to the cholesterol treatment market, which is worth many billions of dollars. Pfizer once dominated this market with statin drug Lipitor, which was once the world's best-selling drug. But the company lost its patent protection in 2011, and low-priced, generic versions of the treatment took over.
Bococizumab, Pfizer's new cholesterol drug, which injects cholesterol-lowering proteins into a patient's body, was already in FDA Phase 3 testing. However, Pfizer's CEO Ian Read announced that the company was going to halt the drug's development because of "safety issues," as well as the treatment's tendency to lose its efficacy over time.