Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced that its net income had fallen in the latest quarter. Sales dropped following the exclusivity that was lost by the company on Lipitor, the cholesterol drug, in November. Pfizer, the largest drug maker in the U.S., said it earned $1.79 billion, nearly 29 cents a share during the first quarter. Last year during the same period, the company earned close to $2.2 billion or nearly 28 cents a share. Excluding special items, the company earned 58 cents a share.
Most analysts expected the company to earn 56 cents a share. However, a spokesperson for the company said its results were not comparable to prior periods, because of its sale of a nutrition unit earlier in April to Nestle.
Revenue in Pfizer was down 7% to just over $15.4 billion. That was just below expectations from Wall Street’s $15.47 billion. Lipitor sales fell by over 42% to end at $1.4 billion. Pfizer is planning to use its proceeds from the baby formula business sale to share repurchases and for other uses.
The company also said it still had not decided this year if it would divest the animal health unit it has. If that were to take place, it would be between July of this year and July of 2013. The sales for that unit were up 4% during the quarter to end at $1.03 billion. If it parts with that business, Pfizer said it would probably be via an IPO, which would avoid large taxes.
The U.S drug maker also cuts estimates for revenue and earnings. It now expects earnings to be somewhere between $1.23 and $1.37 per share.