The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Pfizer, Merck & Co., Bristol-Myers Squibb and Amgen

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – October 27, 2020 – announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: Pfizer Inc. PFE, Merck & Co., Inc. MRK, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company BMY and Amgen Inc. AMGN.

Here are highlights from Monday’s Analyst Blog:

Will Pfizer's (PFE) Oncology Drugs Drive Q3 Earnings?

Pfizer’s Biopharmaceuticals Group, which comprises six business units — Oncology, Inflammation & Immunology, Rare Disease, Hospital, Vaccines and Internal Medicine — is expected to have been the company’s key top-line driver in the third quarter.

Within the Biopharma group, oncology sales are likely to have risen in the third quarter, driven by higher sales of Ibrance, Inlyta, Xalkori and alliance revenues from Astellas for Xtandi.

Continued CDK class market share growth in the United States are likely to have driven Ibrance’s sales. However, pricing pressure in certain European markets is likely to have hurt its international sales.

Importantly, U.S. sales of Inlyta rose significantly in the past few quarters, gaining from FDA approvals in 2019 for the combination of Inlyta plus Pfizer’s Bavencio and Inlyta plus Merck’s Keytruda in first-line treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma patients. The trend is expected to have continued in the third quarter.

In non-oncology, sales of drugs like Xeljanz and alliance revenues from Bristol-Myers for Eliquis are likely to have provided top-line support.

Pfizer’s stock has declined 2.6% this year so far, same as the industry.

In addition, new brands such as Vyndaqel/Vyndamax, Braftovi, Mektovi and new oncology biosimilars (Trazimera, Zirabev and Ruxience) are expected to have brought in additional sales. However, patient starts for Vyndaqel are likely to have been impacted somewhat in the third quarter due to a slowdown in new diagnosis as fewer patients visited doctors amid the mobility restrictions.

Lower Prevnar sales in the United States due to slowdown in vaccination rates amid COVID-19-related mobility restrictions & limitations is also likely to have hurt the vaccine’s sales in the third quarter. However, it remains to be seen if sales trends have improved from the second-quarter levels. Meanwhile, increased adult uptake in international markets as people developed more vaccine awareness amid the COVID-19 pandemic might have benefited Prevenar 13 outside U.S. sales.

Meanwhile, sales of Chantix might have been significantly impacted due to lower demand from infrequent patient visits to doctors. However, sales trends might have improved from second-quarter levels.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for sales of Ibrance (worldwide) and alliance revenues from Eliquis is $1.41 billion and $1.24 billion, respectively. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Inlyta and Xeljanz’s sales is pegged at $216 million and $640 million, respectively.

Meanwhile, sales of important drug Enbrel in key European markets are likely to have declined due to continued biosimilar competition. Pfizer has exclusive rights to Amgen’s blockbuster RA drug, Enbrel, outside the United States and Canada.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for sales of Enbrel and Prevnar is $342 million and $1.68 billion, respectively.

Meanwhile, Pfizer’s sterile injectables portfolio is likely to have benefited from increasing demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Pfizer believes its anti-infective medicines as well as other sterile injectable products have been utilized in the incubation and ongoing treatment of mechanically ventilated COVID-19 patients.

Overall, in the third quarter, higher sales of the Biopharma segment are likely to have made up for lower sales in the Upjohn group.

Pfizer currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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