Will Pfizer Rise Higher in 2013?

As December comes to a close, 2013 is just around the corner, and it's a good time to look at the future prospects for the stocks you own. If you don't know where a company's headed in the next year and beyond, then it's impossible to make an informed decision about whether you should add the stock to your portfolio -- or sell it if you already own it.

Today, I'll look at Pfizer (NYSE: PFE  ) . Pfizer has been a member of the Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) since 2004, and it has come a long way this year toward conquering its patent cliff. That has made investors seem increasingly optimistic about the drugmaker going forward. Below, you'll see more about Pfizer's prospects for 2013.

Stats on Pfizer

Average Stock Target Price

$27.68

Full-Year 2012 EPS Estimate

$2.16

Full-Year 2013 EPS Estimate

$2.29

2012 Sales Growth Estimate

(13.4%)

2013 Sales Growth Estimate

(1.2%)

Forward P/E

11.2

Source: Yahoo Finance.

Will Pfizer get healthier in 2013?
Coming into 2012, the loss of Lipitor was the biggest concern investors had about Pfizer. Sure enough, revenue plunged after the blockbuster drug lost patent protection. Going forward, therefore, the company will need to find ways to replace that income.

One of the drugs with the best potential for success is Lyrica, which jumped past the $1 billion revenue mark in Pfizer's most recent quarter. Yet with competition from Cymbalta, Eli Lilly's (NYSE: LLY  ) anticonvulsant drug, Lyrica certainly doesn't have the industry to itself, and in a recent trial, it failed to show significant reduction in seizures among epilepsy patients.

But a major part of Pfizer's strategy is to focus on its core pharma business and grow through acquisition. For instance, Pfizer bought NextWave Pharmaceuticals late last month, with its Quillivant XR medication to fight ADHD having received FDA approval earlier this year. Fool health care analyst Max Macaluso believes Pfizer should make a strategic partnership with MannKind (NASDAQ: MNKD  ) to help it bring its inhalable insulin drug to market, despite former failures in the insulin industry. Pfizer also hopes its blood thinner, Eliquis, which it developed with Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY  ) , will finally gain FDA approval after getting clearance for sale in Europe last month.

Meanwhile, Pfizer has been getting rid of ancillary divisions. Earlier this year, it sold off its infant nutrition business to Nestle. With plans to spin off its animal health business into a new company, Zoetis, next year, Pfizer is employing a similar strategy to Abbott Labs (NYSE: ABT  ) splitting off its pharma division into a separate business.

Pfizer has plenty of potential to keep moving higher, assuming the health care environment stays relatively stable in the year to come. Competition will remain fierce, but Pfizer's future looks clearer than it did before navigating the patent cliff.

Learn more
Pfizer has taken some cues from Abbott with its corporate reorganization, but Abbott's split could have ripple effects on all of its competitors across the pharmaceutical industry. Find out how Abbott's moves could give it a competitive advantage in our new in-depth research report, which outlines the opportunities and risks of both Abbott Labs and its spinoff, AbbVie. Be sure to claim this two-for-one report by clicking here now

Click here to add Pfizer to My Watchlist, which can find all of our Foolish analysis on it and all your other stocks.


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