Pfizer Inc

reported a better-than-expected first-quarter profit on Tuesday, as cost-cutting helped offset sharply lower sales of its Lipitor cholesterol fighter and its Chantix smoking-cessation drug.

The world's largest drugmaker earned $2.73 billion, or 40 cents per share. That compared with $2.78 billion, or 41 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter, when Pfizer took acquisition-related charges.

Excluding special items, Pfizer earned 54 cents per share. Analysts on average expected 49 cents per share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Company global revenue fell 8 percent to $10.87 billion, about $180 million below Wall Street expectations. Revenue would have fallen only 3 percent if not for the strengthening dollar, which lowers the value of overseas sales when converted back into U.S. currency.

(Reporting by Ransdell Pierson and Lewis Krauskopf; Editing by Derek Caney)