Pfizer stock tumbled Tuesday after Chief Executive Albert Bourla offered a 2021 earnings outlook that lagged some expectations.
During the annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, Bourla called for Pfizer (PFE) to post earnings of $3-$3.10 per share, on an adjusted basis, in 2021. That easily topped the average view of analysts polled by FactSet for Pfizer earnings of $2.96 a share.
The forecast includes the potential impact from Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine in partnership with BioNTech. That vaccine is authorized in more than 45 countries, BioNTech (BNTX) Chief Executive Ugur Sahin said Monday during the company’s presentation at the conference.
Pfizer Stock Dips On Earnings Guidance
Pfizer stock mostly trended sideways in 2020 despite excitement for the company’s Covid-19 vaccine in development with BioNTech. The company now expects to deliver 2 billion doses of the coronavirus vaccine in 2021, up from prior expectations for 1.3 billion.
Bourla suggested developments with Covid-19 could lead to a longer revenue opportunity than the company initially expected, SVB Leerink analyst Geoffrey Porges said in a report to clients. Porges kept his market perform rating on Pfizer stock.
It’s possible, BioNTech’s Sahin said, that Covid-19 will become endemic in society. This could mean repeated vaccinations, especially as the virus mutates.
Outside of Covid-19, Pfizer CEO Bourla said he’s confident the existing portfolio will allow the company to reach its long-term guidance of 6% compound annual growth over the next five years, Porges said.
He also “seemed open to purchasing appropriate late-stage assets, despite the expensive M&A (mergers and acquisitions) environment in biotech,” Porges said.
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The guidance for 2021 earnings also beat Porges’ estimate for $2.91 a share.
“It’s not immediately clear what is driving management’s above-consensus expectations, but we expect more detailed guidance when Pfizer releases fourth-quarter earnings on Feb. 2,” he said.
Follow Allison Gatlin on Twitter at @IBD_AGatlin.
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