Pfizer Earnings Results
Metric Beat/Miss/Match Reported Value Analysts' Prediction
Adjusted EPS Beat $0.93 $0.76
Revenue Beat $14.6B $13.5B
COVID-19 Vaccine Revenue Beat $3.5B $2.2B

Key Takeaways

  • Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine revenue was nearly 60% higher than analyst estimates.
  • The company expects to deliver 1.6 billion doses of the vaccine in 2021 under signed contracts as of mid-April 2021.
  • Even without COVID-19 vaccine revenue, Pfizer revenues grew 8% operationally.

Pfizer (PFE) Financial Results: Analysis

Pfizer Inc. (PFE) reported Q1 2021 earnings that solidly beat consensus estimates. Adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.93 surpassed analyst predictions of $0.76 and marked year-over-year (YOY) growth of close to 50%. Pfizer's revenue was $14.6 billion, 44.6% higher than for Q1 FY 2020 and 8.1% above analyst expectations.

Pfizer's Key Metric: COVID-19 Vaccine Revenue

Pfizer also strongly outperformed expectations on the key metric of its COVID-19 vaccine revenue. The company's COVID-19 vaccine, which it refers to as "BNT162b2" in press releases, generated $3.5 billion in revenue for Q1 FY 2021. Analysts had predicted $2.2 billion in revenue for that product. Investors have waited to observe Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine revenue for Q1, as it is the first full quarter of vaccine sales after the company received emergency authorization late last year.

A strong performance in this area is seen as a reflection of Pfizer's ability to increase vaccine production and revenue as it takes on new government supply contracts. Indeed, Pfizer announced in its Q1 earnings release that the company has signed contracts to deliver 1.6 billion doses of the vaccine in 2021, with additional contracts with the governments of Canada and Israel for deliveries beyond 2021 as well.

While Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine revenue for Q1 was already higher than anticipated, this figure could continue to expand going forward. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is reportedly set to authorize the use of the company's vaccine in adolescents between the ages of 12 and 15 as early as the second week of May 2021.

For Q1, the vaccine had only received emergency authorization for individuals 16 years of age and older. Pfizer has requested similar amendments by other regulatory agencies around the world.

Pfizer's Guidance and Stock Performance

Pfizer increased its full-year 2021 guidance, driven by the strength of its COVID-19 vaccine performance and 8% revenue growth operationally excluding that product's revenue. The company now anticipates revenues between $70.5 billion and $72.5 billion, up from $59.4 billion to $61.4 billion, and adjusted EPS between $3.55 and $3.65, up from $3.10 to $3.20.

Pfizer shares were up about 1.5% in pre-market trading following the earnings announcement. In the past year, Pfizer stock has significantly underperformed the broader market, with a one-year trailing total return of 16.3% as compared with 47.5% for the S&P 500 as of May 4, 2021.

Pfizer Earnings Call Recap

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Alan Bourla was optimistic about the future sales growth of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine in an earnings conference call. “Based on what we’ve seen, we believe that a durable demand for our Covid-19 vaccine—similar to that of the flu vaccines—is a likely outcome,” he said.

Bourla also talked about the recent, marked slowdown in the rate of vaccinations in the U.S. He said it's “normal” that some people are reluctant to get vaccinated, but Bourla said he expects vaccinations to increase again once the FDA authorizes shots for children ages 12 to 15, which is expected to happen in May.

Pfizer’s next earnings report for Q2 FY2021 is estimated to be released on Aug. 3, 2021.