Pfizer endures rough Q3


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The world's largest seller of medications had a rough third quarter as profits plunged 70 percent because of complications attributed to mergers and asbestos, the Wall Street Journal reports .

Revenue at Pfizer ( PFE ) increased 39 percent, attributable to its $68 million acquisition of Wyeth, which aimed to cut costs, strengthen its research capabilities, and widen operations after losing exclusive rights to manufacture cholesterol drug Lipitor, whose sales plunged in the double digit percentage.

"Since the Wyeth deal, we are reporting solid operating performance," chief executive Jeffrey Kindler said during a Tuesday conference call.

News of Pfizer profits plunging sent its share prices down as well. Shares dropped 0.13 cents to $17.49, a 0.8 percent reduction.

The drug company's third quarter earnings were damaged by a charge of $1.5 billion pertaining to the deal to acquire Wyeth as well as a $701 million charge for another unit's asbestos litigation.

In October, Pfizer agreed to pay $3.6 billion cash for King Pharmaceuticals (KIG), seller of painkillers. The company also announced in October it's reviewing options for its Capsugel business, which could include selling the unit that develops capsules and other systems that deliver drugs.

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This article appears in: Personal Finance , Business

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