Sanofi (SNY 0.23%) ended the week on an up note, buoyed by an encouraging quarterly earnings release and market-pleasing remarks its CEO made about potential SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus vaccine manufacturing.

For the pharmaceutical giant's Q1 of fiscal 2020, according to International Financial Reporting Standards, its net sales were 8.97 billion euros ($9.70 billion). That was nearly 7% higher on a year-over-year basis. Net income was 2.04 billion euros ($2.21 billion), an improvement of almost 16%. On a per-share basis, net profit was 1.63 euros ($1.76). 

Pharmacist discussing a medication with a patient.

Image source: Getty Images.

Those figures exceeded analyst estimates. On average, prognosticators following the company's stock were anticipating 8.83 billion euros ($9.55 billion) on the top line and a per-share net profit of 1.43 euros ($1.55).

During the quarter, Sanofi benefited from increased demand for products like over-the-counter painkillers and fever medications in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. It said in a conference call discussing the quarter that it's on track to hit its full-year 2020 guidance of 5% growth in per-share earnings.

Sanofi is in the thick of the fight against the coronavirus; it currently has several active research projects for vaccines, one taking the form of a collaboration with peer pharmaceutical major GlaxoSmithKline. On Friday, Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson pointed out that his company is one of the very few that will be able to manufacture any SARS-CoV-2 vaccine at the scale required to satisfy what is certain to be immense global demand.

On Friday, Sanofi's stock rose higher than that of the broader equities market, closing the day just over 3% higher.