Pfizer Struggles to Recover as Covid Demand Plummets and Stock Drops

Pfizer’s Revenue Challenges

Pfizer, the pharmaceutical giant, has recently experienced significant setbacks in its revenue due to the decline in its Covid business. The company had to reverse approximately $3.5 billion in revenue, which was expected from the return of 6.5 million doses of its Covid drug, Paxlovid, from the U.S. government. This reversal has affected Pfizer’s financial performance and highlighted the challenges it faces in the current market.

Plunge in Covid Business and Financial Impact

As demand for Covid products declined rapidly and the market shifted toward commercial sales, Pfizer’s fourth-quarter revenue plummeted to $14.25 billion, a 41% decrease compared to the same period last year. This drop in revenue has resulted in a net loss of $3.37 billion, or 60 cents per share, for the fourth quarter. In contrast, Pfizer had a net income of $4.99 billion, or 87 cents per share, during the same period the previous year. Excluding certain items, the company reported an earnings per share of 10 cents for the quarter.

Stock Performance and Future Prospects

Pfizer’s stock experienced a significant decline of approximately 40% in 2023 due to the plummeting demand for its Covid products worldwide. The company had to revise its full-year revenue forecast, incur substantial charges related to inventory write-offs, and implement cost-cutting measures. Furthermore, Pfizer’s future in the weight loss drug market also seems uncertain.

Investors are eagerly awaiting data on Pfizer’s once-daily weight-loss drug, danuglipron, which is expected to be released in the first half of this year. The success of this drug could potentially help restore investor confidence in Pfizer’s market position.

Pfizer’s recent acquisition of cancer drugmaker Seagen, worth $34 billion, is another move to boost investor confidence and diversify its portfolio. The acquisition was finalized in the fourth quarter of last year, and Pfizer plans to create a new oncology division that includes Seagen in early 2024.

Despite these efforts, Wall Street remains skeptical about Pfizer’s ability to turnaround. The company’s stock has already experienced a decline of over 4% this year, resulting in a market value of approximately $155 billion.