Pfizer Stock Fell 2.8%. Did Investors Misunderstand the Revenue Guidance?

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Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla talks.

John Thys/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

Pfizer

shares dropped sharply on Tuesday after the company’s 2022 sales guidance appeared to fall short of expectations.

The guidance that

Pfizer

(ticker: PFE) presented, however, doesn’t take into account future sales of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine and antiviral, but only sales already made. The number will likely climb upward as the year progresses, suggesting that the selloff on Tuesday may have been based on a misunderstanding.

In its Tuesday earnings release, Pfizer said it expected revenues of between $98 billion and $102 billion in 2022, including Covid-19 vaccine sales of $32 billion and Covid-19 antiviral sales of $22 billion.

The antiviral sales guidance met the consensus estimate according to FactSet, but the Covid-19 vaccine guidance fell short by $2.8 billion. The FactSet estimate for Pfizer’s overall revenue for 2022 was $103.2 billion, around $3 billion above the midpoint of Pfizer’s guidance range.

Since it began laying out guidance for its Covid-19 vaccine last year, Pfizer has handled its projections differently than for other products. Rather than making a guess about full-year sales, Pfizer has only reported sales contracted so far.

In early 2021, when first announcing guidance for the 2021 fiscal year, Pfizer assumed $15 billion in 2021 Covid-19 vaccine sales. The company ended up reporting more than $36 billion in Covid-19 vaccine sales last year.

The company did the same thing on Tuesday, only taking into account Covid-19 vaccine sales agreements for 2022 that are already signed.

Shares of Pfizer ended Tuesday down 2.8%, at $51.70. The stock is down 12.7% this year.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told Barron’s on Tuesday that the company was still negotiating further vaccine sales…

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