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Pfizer shares fall despite upbeat 2018 guidance and market beating fourth quarter numbers

Pfizer expects a "meaningfully lower" effective tax rate this year and a repatriation tax liability of about US$15bn over eight years
Pfizer Innovative Health was driven by continued strength from several anchor brands

Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) saw its shares turn lower despite the drugmaker providing an upbeat 2018 guidance and releasing forecast-beating fourth quarter numbers.

In the quarter, earnings came in at US$12.27bn, or US$2.02 per share, a sharp rise from US$775mln or 13 US cents per share in the year-earlier period.

READ: Strong pneumonia vaccine sales help Pfizer to top Street estimates

Adjusted earnings-per-share were 62 US cents, beating the market consensus of 56 US cents.

Revenue also rose, but less sharply to rose to US$13.70bn from US$13.63bn, again coming in above market expectations for US$$13.67bn.

Pfizer Innovative Health was driven by continued strength from several anchor brands, including Ibrance, Eliquis and Xeljanz - all of which currently have market-leading positions with many years of patent protection remaining, Chief Executive Ian Read said in a statement.

Its Essential Health business saw strong revenue growth in its emerging markets and biosimilars but was hit by the sale of Hospira Infusion Systems, expected losses of exclusivity for products and Hospira U.S. product shortages.

Pfizer also gave a 2018 revenue guidance of US$53.5bn to US$55.5bn, compared with the market expectations for US$53.82bn.

It also guided 2018 adjusted EPS at between US$2.90 to US$3.00, against market expectations for US$2.78.

READ: FDA sends damning warning letter to Pfizer after misfiring EpiPens linked to deaths

Its 2018 financial guidance for the effective tax rate on adjusted income – seen at about 17% - takes into account the new corporate tax reform.

Pfizer expects a "meaningfully lower" effective tax rate this year and repatriation tax liability of about US$15bn over eight years.

Its 2018 adjusted EPS is also expected to include US5bn in share buybacks, and highlighted plans to invest about US$5bn in capital projects in the U.S.

In early morning trade, Pfizer shares shed 2.8% at US$37.92.

Later in the day, shares shed 3.17% to US$37.78 each.

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November 23 2015

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