Pfizer expects about $15 billion in 2021 gross sales from Covid vaccine

Empty vials of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine are seen at a first come first serve drive-thru vaccination site operated by the Lake County Health Department on January 28, 2021 in Groveland, Florida.

Paul Hennessy | NurPhoto | Getty Images

Pfizer expects to sell about $15 billion in coronavirus vaccine doses this year, the company announced in releasing its fourth-quarter earnings Tuesday.

The company’s Covid-19 vaccine, which it’s making with German partner BioNTech, was the first approved for emergency use in the U.S. It forecasts between $59.4 and $61.4 billion in revenue this year.

The company also raised its full-year earnings guidance to between $3.10 to $3.20 from $3.00 to $ 3.10, citing “additional refinements” of its vaccine revenue forecast.

Here’s how Pfizer performed in the fourth quarter compared with what Wall Street expected, according to average estimates compiled by Refinitiv.

  • Adjusted EPS: 42 cents versus 48 cents, expected.
  • Revenue: $11.68 billion versus $11.43 billion, expected.

Revenue rose 12% to $11.68 billion from $10.44 billion during the same quarter last year — better than analysts expected.

Shares of Pfizer were essentially flat in premarket trading.

“As a company, we saw the culmination of Pfizer’s decade-long conversion into a pure-play, science and innovation-focused company,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in a press release. “Right away, our ability to move quickly and utilize cutting-edge science to help address the world’s most important medical challenges was put to the test by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Pfizer, like other Covid-19 vaccine makers, has been struggling to meet the demand for shots that will help bring an end to the pandemic. Pfizer has said it expects to deliver 200 million doses of its two-shot vaccine to the U.S. by July 31. It recently enlisted the help of French drugmaker Sanofi to help produce doses.

The company also said Tuesday it is “prepared to respond” if a Covid variant demonstrates evidence of evading its vaccine. In recent weeks, U.S. health officials, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, have said they are concerned that vaccines currently on the market may not be as effective in guarding against new, more contagious strains of the virus.

Novavax said Thursday that its vaccine was only 49% effective against B.1.351, the highly contagious strain found in South Africa. Johnson & Johnson also said its vaccine was less potent against the strain, saying on Friday the one-shot vaccine was 66% effective overall but just 57% effective against the South Africa strain.

A study conducted by Pfizer found that the new, highly contagious Covid-19 strains found in the U.K. and South Africa had only a small impact on the effectiveness of its vaccine. Still, Pfizer is developing a booster shot to help protect against the new variants. Moderna and Novavax are also developing modified vaccines.

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