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Investing in Pfizer Stock (PFE)

What you need to know about investing in Pfizer

Pfizer Inc. (PFE) is a global pharmaceutical company focused on preventing illnesses and developing treatments and cures for a range of diseases. The company generates the majority of its revenue through the manufacture and sale of biopharmaceutical products. Pfizer’s business is organized around the following therapeutic areas: internal medicine; oncology; hospital; vaccines, inflammation and immunology; and rare disease.

The company traces its origins to the founding of Charles Pfizer & Co. in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1849 by Charles Pfizer and Charles Erhart. The company expanded during the late 1800s and early 1900s, remaining a privately held company until June 1942, when it offered shares of its common stock to the public for the first time. It was the first mass producer of the “miracle drug” penicillin in the 1940s and was generating more than a billion dollars in sales by the early 1970s. Pfizer has become one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world, with a market capitalization of $251.3 billion as of Nov. 3, 2021.

Pfizer’s headquarters are in New York City. Albert Bourla is the pharmaceutical giant’s current chief executive officer (CEO). Pfizer is classified as a member of the S&P 500 healthcare sector and operates within the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry. Pfizer’s main competitors include Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK), Switzerland-based Roche Holding AG (RHHBY), and Eli Lilly and Co. (LLY). Pfizer reported adjusted net income attributable to its common shareholders of $25.2 billion on $81.3 billion in annual revenue in its 2021 fiscal year (FY).

Key Takeaways

  • Pfizer develops, manufactures, and distributes biopharmaceutical products to treat and cure a range of diseases.
  • Some of its main rivals include Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK), Switzerland-based Roche Holding AG (RHHBY), and Eli Lilly and Co. (LLY).
  • Pfizer posted $9.6 billion in net income attributable to its common shareholders on revenue of $41.9 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2020.
  • Pfizer’s earnings and revenue for the third quarter (Q3) of FY 2021, fueled by sales of its COVID-19 vaccine, surpassed analysts’ expectations.
  • An FDA panel has recommended authorizing the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages six-months to 4 years old.

Recent Developments

  • On June 15, 2022, an FDA panel recommended authorizing the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children under the age of 5.
  • On June 12, 2022, the FDA released an analysis stating that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective for children under the age of 5.
  • On June 6, 2022, Pfizer announced that it was investing $120 million in COVID-19 treatment Paxlovid.
  • On May 3, 2022, Pfizer announced Q1 FY 2022 financial results. Revenue rose 77% year-over-year (YOY) and adjusted earnings per share (EPS) rose 72% to $1.62.
  • May 2, 2022, a clinical trial testing Pfizer's antiviral medication Paxlovid as a preventative measure to stop COVD-19 failed to show benefit. The drug remain is primarily used as a treatment for patients who already have COVID-19, in order to lower the chance of severe symptoms or death.
  • On Oct. 29, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the emergency use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, which was co-developed with Germany-based BioNTech SE (BNTX), for use by children 5 through 11 years of age. The FDA said that the vaccine for this age group is to be administered as a two-dose primary series, three weeks apart. This is a lower dose than for individuals ages 12 and older. (See Q&A below for more detail.)

What’s happening with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine?

In 2020, Pfizer co-developed with BioNTech SE a vaccine against COVID-19, the virus whose rapid spread prompted the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare a global pandemic in March 2020. On Dec. 11, 2020, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine became the first COVID-19 vaccine to receive emergency use authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The vaccine was approved for emergency use for individuals 16 years of age and older. On May 10, 2021, the FDA expanded the EUA for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to include adolescents ages 12–15.

The FDA gave the vaccine full approval on Aug. 23, 2021, after reviewing the biologics license application (BLA) submitted by Pfizer and BioNTech. The two companies completed their submission of the BLA in May 2021. It was the first COVID-19 vaccine to receive full approval from the FDA. It is now being marketed under the name Comirnaty.

On Sept. 22, 2021, the FDA amended the EUA for the vaccine, approving it for use as a single booster dose administered at least six months after completion of the initial doses for the following individuals: those 65 years of age and older; those ages 18–64 at high risk of severe COVID-19; and those ages 18–64 who are frequently exposed to COVID-19 to the extent that it puts them at risk of suffering serious complications.

On Oct. 29, 2021, the FDA extended the EUA for the vaccine to include children ages 5–11.

Has Pfizer ever split its stock (PFE)?

Pfizer has split its stock a total of five times:

  • July 1, 1983: a 2-for-1 split.
  • April 1, 1991: a 2-for-1 split.
  • July 3, 1995: a 2-for-1 split.
  • July 1, 1997: a 2-for-1 split.
  • July 1, 1999: a 3-for-1 split.

Does Pfizer pay a dividend?

Yes, Pfizer pays a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.39 per share.

How many shares of Pfizer stock are there?

As of Aug. 9, 2021, Pfizer had 5,606,688,356 shares of voting common stock outstanding.

Who is the chief executive officer (CEO) of Pfizer?

Albert Bourla, who has been with Pfizer for more than 25 years, is currently the company’s chief executive officer (CEO) and chairman. Before assuming the CEO position in January 2019, he was chief operating officer (COO) starting in January 2018. From February 2016 to December 2018, Bourla was group president of Pfizer’s Global Vaccines, Oncology, and Consumer Healthcare business. He was president and general manager of the company’s Established Products business from 2010 to 2013. Bourla served in a number of other roles from 1993, when he joined the company, to 2010.

What drugs make Pfizer the most money?

Pfizer’s top five selling drugs worldwide in the third quarter (Q3) of fiscal year (FY) 2021 were:

  • Comirnaty (vaccines), used to vaccinate against COVID-19, with nearly $13.0 billion in revenue from direct sales and alliance revenues.
  • The Prevnar family (vaccines), used to vaccinate against pneumococcal diseases, with more than $1.4 billion in revenue.
  • Ibrance (oncology), used to treat certain breast cancers, with nearly $1.4 billion in revenue.
  • Eliquis (internal medicine), used to treat nonvalvular atrial fibrillation, deep vein thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism, with more than $1.3 billion in revenue from direct sales and alliance revenues.
  • Xeljanz (inflammation and immunology), used to treat certain types of arthritis, with approximately $0.6 billion in revenue.
Article Sources
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  2. Pfizer. “Company Timeline: A Legacy of Innovation.”

  3. Statista. “Leading 10 Biotech and Pharmaceutical Companies Worldwide Based on Market Capitalization as of 2021.”

  4. Pfizer, via U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. “Form 10-K for the Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2020,” Page 20 (Page 29 of PDF).

  5. Pfizer. “Albert Bourla, DVM, Ph.D.

  6. S&P Dow Jones Indices. “S&P 500 Health Care: Data.”

  7. Pfizer Investor Relations. "Pfizer Reports Fourth-Quarter and Full-Year 2021 Results."

  8. Food and Drug Administration. "Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee June 14-15, 2022 Meeting Announcement."

  9. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “FDA Authorizes Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for Emergency Use in Children 5 Through 11 Years of Age.”

  10. CNBC. “World Health Organization Declares the Coronavirus Outbreak a Global Pandemic.”

  11. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “FDA Takes Key Action in Fight Against COVID-19 by Issuing Emergency Use Authorization for First COVID-19 Vaccine.”

  12. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Authorizes Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for Emergency Use in Adolescents in Another Important Action in Fight Against Pandemic.”

  13. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “FDA Approves First COVID-19 Vaccine.”

  14. Pfizer. “Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine COMIRNATY® Receives Full U.S. FDA Approval for Individuals 16 Years and Older.”

  15. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “FDA Authorizes Booster Dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for Certain Populations.”

  16. Pfizer. “Dividend & Split History.”

  17. Pfizer, via U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. “Form 10-Q for the Quarterly Period Ended July 4, 2021,” Page 1.

  18. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “PREVNAR 20.”

  19. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “Palbociclib (IBRANCE).”

  20. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “ELIQUIS (Apixaban) Label.”

  21. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “XELJANZ® (Tofacitinib) Labels: XELJANZ® (Tofacitinib) Tablets, for Oral Use; XELJANZ® XR (Tofacitinib) Extended-Release Tablets, for Oral Use.”

  22. Pfizer, via U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. “Form 10-Q for the Quarterly Period Ended July 4, 2021,” Pages 34–35 (Pages 37–38 of PDF).

  23. Pfizer. “Pfizer Reports Third-Quarter 2021 Results,” Page 29.

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