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Pfizer profit up 26 pct, tops estimate

October 19, 2009
AFP

NEW YORK - Pharmaceutical industry leader Pfizer said Tuesday third-quarter profits rose 26 percent from a year ago to 2.88 billion dollars, as cost cuts helped offset lower revenues.

The profit amounted to to 51 cents a share excluding special items, topping Wall Street consensus estimates of 48 cents.

Revenues fell three percent in the quarter to 11.6 billion dollars on lower sales of key pharmaceuticals including cholesterol treatment Lipitor and erectile dysfunction drug Viagra, which face increasing competition.

"We are pleased with our results this quarter and in our ability to once again deliver solid operational performance in an environment that continues to be challenging," said Jeff Kindler, Pfizer chairman and chief executive.

"Excluding foreign exchange, our five pharmaceutical units and animal health business continued to perform well enabling us to continue to meet our commitments."

The company last week completed its acquisition of Wyeth, boosting its position as the world's biggest drugmaker and bringing in new products as patents reach expiration, opening the way to competition from generic drugs.

Pfizer said its profits were hurt by unfavorable exchange rates, while the comparison to last year was helped because of a charge a year ago of 640 million dollars for litigation.

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