- Analysts estimate adjusted EPS of $1.40 vs. $0.93 in Q1 FY 2021.
- Pfizer's revenue is expected to grow at a robust pace, but significantly slower than in Q4 FY 2021.
- Sales of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine are likely to remain strong due to the ongoing need for booster shots.
Pfizer Inc. (PFE) is coming off of a blockbuster year in which profits and revenue nearly doubled due to sales of its COVID-19 vaccine. While the company's growth is expected to slow, demand for the vaccine is likely to remain strong. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently authorized a second booster dose of Pfizer's vaccine for people age 50 or older, as well as for immunocompromised individuals. The need for booster shots will help to keep continuing demand for the vaccine.
Investors will be watching to see if Pfizer can maintain its strong financial performance when it reports earnings on May 3, 2022 for Q1 FY 2022. Analysts expect robust growth in adjusted earnings per share (EPS) and revenue, but at a significantly slower pace compared to recent quarters.
Pfizer, in collaboration with partner Germany-based BioNTech SE (BNTX), was the first company to receive emergency use authorization (EUA) from the FDA for its vaccine. The drug is marketed as Comirnaty. In another first, Pfizer's Paxlovid was the first oral antiviral treatment of COVID-19 to receive EUA, gaining the FDA's approval in December 2021. The treatment is intended to be used for treating adults and pediatric patients at least 12 years of age who have tested positive for the disease and are at high risk of developing severe COVID-19.
Shares of Pfizer have outperformed the broader market over the past year. The stock's outperformance gap especially widened between mid-October 2021 and mid-December 2021. Since then, however, it has lost some of its gains. Pfizer's shares have provided a total return of 31.7% over the past year, well above the S&P 500's total return of 1.8%.
Pfizer Earnings History
Pfizer reported Q4 FY 2021 earnings that beat analysts' expectations while revenue just matched. Adjusted EPS rose 158.9% compared to the year-ago quarter, its fastest pace in at least 17 quarters. Revenue grew 104.0% year over year (YOY), its second fastest pace in at least 17 quarters. Pfizer's growth was driven by sales of Comirnaty and Paxlovid. The company said that it was raising its 2022 revenue guidance for Comirnaty due to new supply contracts signed or committed as of late January.
In Q3 FY 2021, Pfizer's earnings and revenue beat consensus estimates. Adjusted EPS rose 127.6% YOY, marking the fourth straight quarter of expansion after five consecutive quarters of declines. Revenue increased 135.9% compared to the year-ago quarter, its fastest pace out of any quarter in at least the past four years. Pfizer's rapid growth during the quarter was driven by sales of Comirnaty. The company raised its full-year FY 2021 adjusted EPS and revenue guidance.
Analysts expect strong but slowing growth in Pfizer's top and bottom lines in Q1 FY 2022. Adjusted EPS is expected to rise 50.8% compared to the year-ago quarter, slowing from the previous quarter's rapid pace. Revenue is expected to grow 59.1% YOY, continuing the deceleration trend that began in the previous quarter. For full-year FY 2022, analysts expect adjusted EPS to increase 58.1% on annual revenue growth of 27.9%, both significantly slowing compared to the previous year's pace of growth, when adjusted EPS and revenue soared 99.1% and 94.0%, respectively.
|Pfizer Key Stats|
|Estimate for Q1 FY 2022||Q1 FY 2021||Q1 FY 2020|
|Adjusted Earnings Per Share ($)||$1.40||$0.93||$0.63|
Source: Visible Alpha
Despite analyst expectations of slowing growth, several factors continue to drive demand for Pfizer products that treat the virus, including the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and the company's recently approved oral treatment. As mentioned above, the FDA has approved a second booster shot for certain parts of the population. Pfizer also recently submitted an EUA application to the FDA for approval of a booster dose of the vaccine in children ages 5 to 11. Booster shots are likely to create ongoing demand and bolster Pfizer's financial performance.
Support will also come from increasing demand for Paxlovid, the oral antiviral treatment. The Biden administration recently announced steps to increase access and encourage broader use of the drug. Those steps include increasing the number of sites where people will have access to the treatment. Previously, pharmacies were only administering the drug to the sickest patients. But supply has ramped up and the administration wants to ensure that that supply is getting to as many people as possible that need it. However, while Paxlovid has been authorized for treating people with the disease, it has not been authorized as a preventive measure. Pfizer said that a recent study suggests the treatment fails at preventing infection occurring when adults are exposed to the virus by someone in their household.
Visible Alpha. "Financial Data."
Food and Drug Administration. "FDA Takes Key Action in Fight Against COVID-19 By Issuing Emergency Use Authorization for First COVID-19 Vaccine."
Food and Drug Administration. "Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Authorizes First Oral Antiviral for Treatment of COVID-19."
Pfizer Inc. "PFIZER REPORTS FOURTH-QUARTER AND FULL-YEAR 2021 RESULTS," Page 1.
Pfizer Inc. "PFIZER REPORTS THIRD-QUARTER 2021 RESULTS," Page 1.
The Wall Street Journal. "Pfizer’s Covid-19 Pill Failed Study Testing Its Preventive Use."