Pfizer (PFE 3.37%) just delivered the best quarter in the company's history. Its first-quarter revenue topped $25.6 billion. Adjusted profits totaled more than $9.3 billion.
The drugmaker isn't done yet. And it's likely to go beyond notching wins against its own historical performance. Pfizer is poised to shatter these two biopharmaceutical industry records in 2022.
1. Best-selling non-vaccine drug ever
Pfizer's Comirnaty already holds the title as the best-selling drug in a single year. The COVID-19 vaccine generated nearly $36.8 billion in 2021. No other drug has ever come close to that sales level.
Currently, AbbVie's (ABBV -2.10%) Humira reigns as the world's best-selling non-vaccine drug. Last year, the autoimmune-disease drug raked in close to $20.7 billion. That broke the previous record of single-year sales for a non-vaccine drug of $19.8 billion set by Humira in 2020.
But Humira seems unlikely to remain at the top for very long. Pfizer's guidance projects that its COVID-19 pill, Paxlovid, will make at least $22 billion this year.
Pfizer didn't increase its sales outlook for Paxlovid in its first-quarter update. However, the company is set to produce 120 million treatment courses in 2022. It doesn't have to sell all of those courses to make a lot more than $22 billion.
2. Most revenue for a pharma company
Thanks in large part to the anticipated surge in sales for Paxlovid, Pfizer is also on track to generate the most annual revenue for a pharmaceutical company ever in 2022. The company currently expects full-year revenue of between $98 billion and $102 billion.
Last year, Pfizer reported revenue of nearly $81.3 billion. This set an all-time high for the company. However, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ -0.72%) made $93.8 billion in 2021. That's the record Pfizer seems likely to beat this year.
J&J's revenue total, though, probably should come with an asterisk in the context of determining the most annual revenue for a pharma company. While pharmaceuticals ranked as the healthcare giant's top moneymaker, its consumer health and medical device segments contributed nearly $41.7 billion in sales.
But Pfizer's anticipated 2022 revenue will come entirely from pharmaceuticals. Comirnaty's sales probably won't be as high as they were last year but should still approach $32 billion. As previously mentioned, Paxlovid will kick in at least $22 billion. Pfizer also has plenty of other megablockbusters, notably including its Prevnar vaccines, blood thinner Eliquis, and rare heart disease drug Vyndaqel/Vyndamax.
Will 2022 be Pfizer's peak?
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla stated in the company's Q1 call that new innovations could change the dynamics in the COVID-19 market in 2023. He also thinks that it's possible that the U.S. will transition to a private market next year. Both factors could create headwinds for Paxlovid sales.
The consensus for Comirnaty sales next year is in the ballpark of $17 billion to $18 billion. That's a significant decline from the $32 billion in sales that Pfizer projects for this year.
Sure, sales for many of Pfizer's other products should increase. However, the company only expects an average of 6% annual non-COVID-19 revenue growth through 2025. It then faces the loss of exclusivity for several top-selling drugs.
It seems likely that Pfizer will indeed break the records this year for the highest sales for a non-vaccine drug and the most annual revenue for a pharma company ever. But don't look for those potential new records to be broken by Pfizer or anyone else in the near future.