Pfizer (PFE) stock tumbled Wednesday after an analyst downgraded it, saying the “Covid darling” is now a “show me” story as Comirnaty and Paxlovid sales crumble.
The pharmaceutical giant raked in more than $43.5 billion in worldwide sales of the Covid vaccine and antiviral pill over the first nine months of 2022. But expectations this year are more modest. For the year, Bank of America analyst Geoff Meacham calls for a combined $26.37 billion. In 2024, he expects another decline to $18.48 billion.
“Our previous buy thesis was centered on Comirnaty/Paxlovid driving robust cash flow earmarked for (business development), but as total Covid-19 revenues erode, there is less available for (business development) and at a time where new product growth looks less certain,” he said in a report to clients.
Patents Also Hang On Pfizer Stock
Overall, Meacham expects Pfizer’s sales to plummet by $32 billion this year. Analysts polled by FactSet forecast a slightly smaller tumble of $23 billion. All of this comes as demand for Covid vaccines wanes — a paradigm shift that is also impacting Moderna (MRNA) and Novavax (NVAX). Paxlovid use is also on the decline.
Meanwhile, several notable drugs are expected to lose patent protection between 2025 and 2030. That could put a $17 billion dent in Pfizer’s sales. The company expects to launch new drugs that could bring in $20 billion in new sales by 2030.
Pfizer has done a “very good job” at expanding its late-stage pipeline with efforts in migraine, respiratory syncytial virus, ulcerative colitis, hematology and cancer, Meacham said. But it will take some time before those sales emerge in full force. He downgraded Pfizer stock to a neutral rating and kept his 60 price target.
“These products and others in the Phase 3 pipeline could take years to contribute to the (profit and loss statement), at a time when the Covid franchise is likely to be in persistent decline,” he said.
Shares Above Key Moving Lines
Pfizer stock hit a month low on the downgrade.
Shares remain narrowly above their key moving averages, according to MarketSmith.com.
The stock also has a Composite Rating of 93 out of a best-possible 99, putting its technical and fundamental performance in the leading 7%.
Follow Allison Gatlin on Twitter at @IBD_AGatlin.
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