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Merck, Pfizer stocks under pressure after reporting earnings

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Yahoo Finance Live anchors discuss earnings for Merck and Pfizer.

Video Transcript

BRIAN SOZZI: Earnings from major pharmaceutical companies Merck and Pfizer both boosting that sector overall. The company's benefiting from COVID treatments and vaccines. And Julie, wow was the first word that came to my mind looking at this quarter from Pfizer. Sales up 47% year over year. Adjusted earnings up 92% year over year. They're raising guidance significantly for sales and I think profits for the full year. A lot going right at this company, as you would expect.

JULIE HYMAN: Yes, but not the shares this morning, right? They're down about 2.7%. It might be that the company, which is expecting $32 billion in revenue this year from its COVID vaccine, $22 billion for its COVID pill Paxlovid, which we know the president just took as he was getting over COVID. But it's basically reiteration of guidance they'd given before. So that might be an area of disappointment potentially for the market. Also, interestingly, the company is sharing early data from its RNA flu shot.

And so there's some talk about that. It said that it is-- they're now planning a late stage trial because they saw an encouraging immune response. Meanwhile, with Paxlovid getting all the attention, I'd forgotten that Merck even had an antiviral for COVID, but it did. And that did well, topped expectations. Keytruda, its big cancer drug, also came in at $5 and 1/4 billion in expectations there. So it's interesting to see the shares under a little bit of pressure in that case.

BRAD SMITH: One major shift that I think the coronavirus pandemic really set in motion for a lot of the biotechnology, biopharma companies, is this move to actually have some of their patents be available worldwide for a not for profit basis. And we saw Pfizer actually-- Pfizer talked about this and their broader initiative and accord for a healthier world, basically making sure that they're providing their current and future patented medicines and vaccines available in the US or the EU on a not for profit basis to lower income countries, to other regions of the world that wouldn't necessarily have access to these solutions, unless they were paid up for.

And I think that's a significant shift that it's basically them saying, you know what? We're going to take profit out of the equation for right now. Of course, investors would say, well, all right, well, we wish you would keep that in place. But I think this is a much larger shift of what their medicines can be for good. And that's something that coming out of this pandemic as well.