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Pfizer beats on Q4 earnings, issues weak guidance for COVID-19 vaccine

Yahoo Finance Live anchors discuss fourth-quarter earnings for Pfizer.

Video transcript

[AUDIO LOGO]

BRAD SMITH: Let's also talk about Pfizer this morning. In terms of protecting your body, this just dovetails right into it. Pfizer reporting an earnings beat for the fourth quarter, topping estimates. But issuing some weak guidance for its COVID-19 vaccine as they expect sales of Paxlovid to decrease 58% from 2022, which, yeah, it probably should.

And given the fact that you've seen so many people over the past two years-- and for Pfizer, for Moderna, being able to benefit from their messenger NR-- or excuse me, messenger-RNA investments and the research and development in technology there. There's a lot that could bring to the table in the future for Pfizer. But as of right now, it just signals that they're gonna be more costs, more investments that they have to make into those projects.

And a lot of trial phases set to go forward in order to make sure that at a time when they're making those investments, you're also still seeing some consolidation for existing diseases or existing treatments so that they can bring those in-house. As some patents start to roll off as well, they're gonna be able to invest in that, as well.

JULIE HYMAN: Yeah, Pfizer has been trying to put out this message that the COVID party, for lack of a better word, was not gonna last. The pace of these COVID-related revenues were not gonna last, even as it really transformed the company and CEO Albert Bourla has talked about it's transformed the way that they think at the company, that they can be more nimble, they can take big risks, et cetera.

All of that said, even as it's been messaging that, that things are changing, the COVID vaccine and Paxlovid numbers are gonna be lower than expected. So you know, you can do all the messaging you want, but if the reality on the ground is that it's going be worse, then it's gonna be worse, right?

So now, the question from the investment community is, what is indeed next? And it-- part of it's gonna have to do with the investments that you talked about in some of the new drugs and trying to meet the next challenges, the next medical challenges that come up. But for right now, they're really in a transition period.

BRIAN SOZZI: And you know, I'll just add here quickly, one of the biggest challenges might be just to maintain investor enthusiasm. So last year revenue, $100.3 billion. All-time high for Pfizer. Guidance for this year, $67 billion to $71 billion so a major deceleration plan year-over-year. And it will be tough to, I think for Pfizer, just to command that really relative premium multiple here to the broader market, given, you know, how far revenues might trail off.

BRAD SMITH: All right, taking a look at shares there. Over the past two years, net higher by about 19%. But here today, down by 2% on the earnings results.