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EARNINGS ROUNDUP / PFIZER

Drug maker's earnings triple

October 22, 2008|Times Wire Reports

Pfizer Inc., the world's biggest drug maker, said profit tripled as lower costs from job cuts and higher international sales offset declining U.S. demand for its cholesterol pill Lipitor and anti-smoking drug Chantix.

Sales in the U.S. fell 15% after patients continued to switch from Lipitor, the world's best-selling drug, to generic copies of Merck & Co.'s cholesterol pill Zocor, New York-based Pfizer said. Doctors also shunned Chantix after U.S. regulators cautioned it might be linked to suicides.

Chief Executive Jeffrey Kindler raised profit by cutting 14,000 jobs since 2007 and boosting sales outside the U.S. by 13% in the third quarter. Kindler said cost reductions would continue as the company braces to lose patent protection in 2011 on Lipitor, which accounts for a quarter of its revenue.

Net income increased to $2.28 billion, or 34 cents a share, from $761 million, or 11 cents, a year earlier, when Pfizer had a $2.8-billion charge for abandoning inhaled insulin. Profit excluding some items beat by 2 cents the 60-cent average estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Revenue of about $12 billion was unchanged from a year earlier.

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