Sure, the top line didn't look that great. Revenue fell 8%, but five points of that were due to currency changes that are mostly out of Pfizer's control.
It's never pretty when sales of a company's lead drug fall 17% in the U.S. and 13% worldwide. Lipitor should really be able to grab some of the patients that Merck
Instead, investors should be looking for Pfizer to cut costs in anticipation of the loss of Lipitor's patent and the merger, which is supposed to help the company save even more money. This is where Pfizer seems to be putting in the effort, and it showed in the first-quarter results. The company was able to reduce its adjusted costs at a constant currency by about $500 million. Half a billion dollars! Even for a company as large as Pfizer, that's an exceptional savings.
Despite the impressive cuts, I'm not ready to jump back on the Pfizer-bull train. The dividend yield is under 5% when factoring in the announced cut that started this quarter. It looked much juicier before the dividend cut, at 7%-plus, and there's still the big unknown of how well the integration of Wyeth will go. If everything goes according to plan, Pfizer is probably cheap at these prices, but I don't have the confidence that the Wyeth integration won't be another Warner-Lambert or Pharmacia.
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