Pfizer Inc reported better-than-expected quarterly results, helped by the weaker dollar and strong performance of the nutritionals and animal health businesses it plans to sell or spin off.
The world's biggest drugmaker, whose top-selling Lipitor cholesterol fighter faces generic competition in the United States on November 30, boosted its full-year 2011 profit forecast and predicted 2012 earnings will be little changed from this year.
Pfizer's earnings and share price have been in the dumps for most of the past five years due to worry over Lipitor's impending collapse and the company's inability to create big-selling drugs. But a handful of promising new drugs now working their way through late-stage trials have restored some faith in the company's laboratories.
The company said on Tuesday it earned $3.74 billion, or 48 cents per share in the third quarter, including a $1.3 billion after-tax gain on the recent sale of its Capsugel business.
That compared with a profit of $866 million, or 11 cents per share, in the year-earlier period, when the company took a big charge for asbestos litigation.
Excluding special items, Pfizer earned 62 cents per share. Analysts on average expected 56 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Global revenue rose 7 percent to $17.19 billion, well above Wall Street expectations of $16.42 billion. But revenue would have risen only 1 percent if not for the weak dollar, which increases the value of sales in overseas markets.
Pfizer shares were trading at $19.20 in premarket activity, from their closing price of $19.26 Monday on the New York Stock Exchange.
(Reporting by Ransdell Pierson; Editing by Derek Caney, Dave Zimmerman)