Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Pfizer Sales Likely Slowed As COVID-19 Vaccine Demand Wanes

Q3 earnings are expected to increase

Pfizer logo on medication package

Gado / Getty Images

Key Takeaways

  • Analysts estimate adjusted EPS of $1.39 vs. $1.27 in Q3 FY 2021.
  • Revenue is expected to fall for the first time in two years due to a delay in COVID-19 vaccine shipments to Europe.
  • The Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine and Paxlovid antiviral treatment accounted for 59% of revenue in the first half of 2022.
  • The company faces questions about Comirnaty's transition to a commercial treatment priced at up to $130 per shot early next year.

Pfizer Inc. (PFE) heads into its earnings report before the market open on Nov. 1 facing questions about the evolution of demand for its COVID-19 vaccine and antiviral treatment. The leading drug maker is expected to post adjusted Q3 FY 2022 earnings of $1.39 per share, up from $1.27 a year earlier.

The Comirnaty vaccine and Paxlovid antiviral treatment accounted for 59% of Pfizer's revenue in the first half of fiscal 2022. But demand for COVID-19 vaccines has slowed around the world, and analysts expect a year-over-year decline of nearly 14% in Q3 sales, on average. (In 2021, Q3 revenue had increased 134% over the same quarter in 2020, thanks to Comirnaty.)

Some of the expected decline is related to a previously announced delay until the current quarter of vaccine shipments to the European Union, which wanted to ensure it received the boosters tailored to protect against new COVID-19 variants.

Pfizer said on an Oct. 20 investor call it is discussing a Comirnaty price of $110 to $130 per shot with private insurers for 2023. That could bolster revenue at the cost of reducing vaccine demand, though the company said those without insurance would continue to qualify for free doses. Uptake of the booster shots available this fall has been slow.

Other Pfizer vaccines will also be in focus on the earnings call following the quarterly results, including the company's market-leading pneumonia vaccine franchise Prevnar and the Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) vaccine currently in a late-stage trial. Pfizer's anticoagulant medicine Eliquis and breast cancer treatment Ibrance are the other key drugs, with Q2 sales of $1.7 billion and $1.3 billion respectively.

Meta 12-month stock performance versus S&P 500

Source: TradingView

Pfizer's Earnings History

Pfizer's stock fell 2.4% following its Q2 results on July 28, even as the company topped earnings and revenue expectations and nudged its annual earnings outlook slightly higher.

The drug maker also topped earnings and revenue expectations in its Q1 report, and the stock rose 2% on the day.

The stock is down 21% in 2022, but has rebounded 12% since Oct. 10. Over the last 12 months, Pfizer shares are up nearly 11%, vs. a loss of nearly 16% for the S&P 500 index.

Pfizer Key Stats
  Estimate for Q3 FY 2022 Q3 FY 2021  Q3 FY 2020
Adjusted Earnings Per Share ($)  1.39 1.27 0.59
 Revenue ($B)  20.8  24.1  10.3

Source: Visible Alpha

Article Sources
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  1. Pfizer. "Recasted Product Revenues." (.xlsx file)

  2. Fierce Pharma. "Pfizer Whittles Down U.S. Donation Deal as Global COVID-19 Vaccine Demand Slumps."

  3. Pfizer. "Pfizer Reports Third-Quarter 2021 Results," Page 2.

  4. Fierce Pharma. "Europe Delays Pfizer, BioNTech COVID Vaccine Deliveries As It Gears Up for Fall Booster Push."

  5. Pfizer. "Transcript, Pfizer Analyst and Investor Call to Review RSV Data Presented at ID Week 2022," Page 8

  6. Quartz. "Pfizer Plans to Sell Its COVID Vaccine at a 10,000% Markup in 2023."

  7. Fierce Pharma. "HHS Touts Need for Boosters Amid Slow Uptake for Fall COVID-19 Bivalent Shots."

  8. Pfizer. "Pfizer Reports Second-Quarter 2022 Results," Page 28.

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