Pfizer Inc cut its sales projection for 2012, the first full year its $10 billion-a-year Lipitor cholesterol fighter faces competition from cheaper U.S. generics, sending its shares 1.5 percent lower in premarket trading.

The world's biggest drugmaker said it earned $2.89 billion, or 36 cents per share in the fourth quarter. That compared with $767 million, or 10 cents per share, a year earlier.

(Reporting by Ransdell Pierson; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)