Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) was all over the headlines this week after Monday's promising results regarding the coronavirus vaccines it is co-developing along with BioNTech (NASDAQ: BNTX). On top of that, the U.S. government said it will pay the companies $1.95 billion to secure as many as 600 million doses of any successful vaccines they produce, provided they are cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Not surprisingly, that one-two punch has given the pharmaceutical company's shares a boost. As of market close Friday, Pfizer stock was $37.66 per share, almost 6% above what it was when it closed last Friday.
Looking past the vaccine news
Forget about vaccines for the moment. There are a lot of other things to like about owning Pfizer stock.
Once it completes its spinoff of Upjohn to Mylan (NASDAQ: MYL) this year, the New York City-based pharmaceutical giant will be a much more profitable company. For example, in the first quarter, Pfizer's biopharma division, which does not include Upjohn's numbers, reported a revenue rise of 11% year over year to $10 billion. However, including the Upjohn group, Pfizer's overall revenues were down 8% year over year.
Then there's the company's robust pipeline of 91 drugs, including 21 in phase 3 trials and four in the registration phase. That includes two vaccines that, unlike the proposed coronavirus vaccine, have already been determined to be safe.
The company said it saw good results from its PCV-20 vaccine to prevent invasive and noninvasive pneumococcal infections, and expects to market the drug by the fourth quarter of this year. Another one likely on the way is its vaccine for clostridium difficile, an infection which is commonly found in hospital settings. The PF-06425090 vaccine just finished its phase 3 trial and is awaiting approval from the FDA.
While sales of cholesterol-lowering king Lipitor and erectile dysfunction drug Viagra have been on the wane because of generic competition, the company is still reporting strong sales from pneumococcal disease vaccine Prevnar 13 ($1.45 billion revenue in the first quarter), anti-blood-clot drug Eliquis ($1.3 billion in the quarter), and breast cancer drug Ibrance ($1.25 billion in the quarter).
Its newer oncology drugs -- led by prostate cancer drug Xtandi, which reported a sales rise of 38% year over year in the first quarter -- have been particularly strong, with first-quarter revenue up more than 25%.
The company also pays a nice dividend, which has grown for the past 11 years. This year it's paying a quarterly dividend of $0.38 per share, with a solid 3.89% trailing-12-month (TTM) yield. Even with all the good news, it may be a bit underpriced, with a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 13.6 (TTM) against the drug sector's average of about 22.
There is a lot of optimism about Pfizer
Pfizer is a great stock to have in one's portfolio, a dependable income earner with some growth potential. But is it a millionaire-maker stock?
Well, if you already have almost a million dollars, it could be, but as far as a stock that would double your investment? I don't see it.
A millionaire-maker stock needs rapid growth, and even Pfizer itself isn't predicting that. In the first-quarter earnings call, CEO Abert Bourla said the company is on track for a compound annual growth rate of 6% for the next five years. That's what you might expect from a mature, profitable pharmaceutical, but it's not the type of exponential growth needed to be considered a millionaire-maker stock.
However, with its dependable revenue and dividend, it's a great stock for someone who wants to hold on to $1 million.
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