Pfizer Downgraded to “Market Perform” at Leerink Swann (PFE)

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Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. ( PFE ) on Monday caught a big downgrade from analysts at Leerink Swann.

The firm said it cut its rating on PFE from "Outperform" to "Market Perform."

A Leerink analyst commented, "From here, we believe the upside driver for PFE's EPS expectations is the already announced restructuring and prospect of associated share repurchase as well as the potential to improve total shareholder returns via increases in the dividend (the targeted 40% payout ratio implies avg growth of 7-8% over the next two years). Upside surprises, such as a material delay to a launch of Lipitor by Ranbaxy, are unlikely but would only represent a temporary boost to earnings, in our view. While PFE remains a low-risk defensive story given its massive cash flows, we see limited upside to our pipeline and net income forecasts from here."

Pfizer shares fell $.15, or -0.8%, in premarket trading Monday.

The Bottom Line
Shares of Pfizer ( PFE ) have a 4.00% dividend yield, based on Friday's closing stock price of $19.99. The stock has technical support in the $17-$18 price area. If the shares can firm up, we see overhead resistance around the $21-$22 price levels.

Pfizer Inc. ( PFE ) is not recommended at this time, holding a DARS™ Rating of 3.4 out of 5 stars.

Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks , as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system here .

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: PFE

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