TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- Pfizer Inc., the world's biggest drugmaker by revenue, will discuss moves to slim down the huge company and get some new medicines approved when it reports second-quarter results before the stock market opens Tuesday.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: CEO Ian Read will give an update on plans to divest some non-core operations and discuss Pfizer's financial performance.
Early last month, the Viagra maker said it has begun preparing for a potential initial public offering of part of its animal health business, as a new standalone company called Zoetis. Read is to provide new details to analysts.
He probably will note plans are on track to close Pfizer's $11.85 billion sale of its infant nutrition business to Swiss food and drink giant Nestle SA, in the first half of next year. Pfizer has said after-tax proceeds will go for more share repurchases or investing in other parts of the business.
Pfizer's results are sure to be hurt by the plunge in sales of cholesterol fighter Lipitor, which had reigned for years as the world's top-selling drug ever until it got some generic competition on Nov. 30. Lipitor had peak sales of $13 billion in 2006 and still generated $1.4 billion in the first quarter.
Pfizer was fairly successful with a full-court press to keep many patients on Lipitor until the end of May, when several new generic versions joined the two already on sale, one of which was one an "authorized" generic manufactured by Pfizer and sold by partner Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. For six months, Pfizer offered prescription plans huge rebates to keep their customers on brand-name Lipitor, and about 750,000 patients signed up for discount cards that reduced their copayment to $4 per month. But the insurer rebates ended, and prices for generics plunged with all the new competition, in June.
The executives also will discuss progress in developing new drugs.
The New York company's experimental rheumatoid arthritis drug tofacitinib could be approved by the Food and Drug Administration in August, after agency advisers in May voted 8-2 to recommend approval.
Likewise, European Union regulators could soon approve Pfizer's kidney cancer drug Inlyta, after advisers there in May recommended approval for use in adults. The twice-a-day pill was approved in the U.S. in January. Analysts will be watching to see how early sales are going.
Other experimental drugs have run into trouble.
On Monday, Pfizer and partner Johnson & Johnson said their high-profile experimental Alzheimer's drug, bapineuzumab, didn't slow mental and functional decline in one of four late-stage studies. That dimmed analysts' expectations, but the other three studies continue. Pfizer likely will discuss plans to present data from the failed study and a second one in a different patient group at a European medical conference in September.
WHY IT MATTERS: On top of the accelerating decline in Lipitor sales, over the last several years Pfizer has had a frustrating stretch of highly touted drugs failing in late-stage — and very expensive — patient testing.
Pfizer has invested heavily in trying to come up with a drug that could slow or stop the decline in Alzheimer's patients, so far without success. Aricept, which only temporarily eased symptoms, once brought Pfizer and partner Esai Co. Ltd. of Japan nearly $4 billion a year. That plunged when it got generic competition.
Bapineuzumab is Pfizer's second experimental Alzheimer's drug to falter. Earlier this year, research on one called Dimebon was halted after a second study showed it didn't help patients.
WHAT'S EXPECTED: Analysts surveyed by FactSet expect, on average, earnings per share of 54 cents and revenue of $14.93 billion.
LAST YEAR'S QUARTER: Pfizer posted earnings per share of 33 cents per share, or 60 cents excluding one-time items, and revenue of $16.98 billion.
Linda A. Johnson can be followed at http://twitter.com/LindaJ_onPharma