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Pfizer (PFE) to Report Q1 Earnings: Will the Stock Surprise?

Pharma giant, Pfizer Inc. PFE is scheduled to report its first-quarter 2016 earnings results on May 3, before the opening bell. In the last reported quarter, Pfizer had posted a positive earnings surprise of 1.92%. Let’s see how things are shaping up for this announcement.

Factors at Play

Pfizer will continue to face headwinds in the form of genericization, unfavorable currency movement including the impact of the Venezuelan financial crisis and the expiration of a few co-promotion agreements.

Pfizer has been struggling to deliver top-line growth in the face of genericization of key products. Products like Celebrex, Lipitor, Norvasc, Protonix, Camptosar and Zoloft are all facing declining sales due to generic competition.

Alliance revenues are also under pressure with the expiry of collaboration for products like Enbrel. However, core products like Lyrica and new products like Ibrance should drive revenues. Eliquis, the Prevnar franchise and Xeljanz should also contribute to growth. Moreover, the Hospira acquisition has significantly expanded Pfizer's sterile injectable and biosimilar capabilities. Pfizer has also gained access to Hospira’s lucrative biosimilar portfolio of both marketed and pipeline assets.

Meanwhile, cost-cutting efforts and share buybacks should help Pfizer achieve its earnings guidance.

On the first quarter call, focus will remain on the performance of new products, the company’s pipeline progress including biosimilars and immuno-oncology and plans for cash utilization now that the Allergan AGN deal has been terminated. Pfizer should also arrive at a decision regarding the splitting of its business by year end.

Surprise History

Pfizer’s performance has been pretty good with the company beating earnings expectations consistently. The average earnings beat over the last four quarters is 7.84%.

Earnings Whispers

Our proven model does not conclusively show that Pfizer is likely to beat estimates this quarter. That is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), #2 (Buy) or #3 (Hold) to be able to beat earnings. That is not the case here as you will see below.

Zacks ESP: The Earnings ESP, which represents the difference between the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate, is 0.00% since the Most Accurate estimate is in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 55 cents per share.

Zacks Rank: Pfizer carries a Zacks Rank #3. Pfizer’s Zacks Rank #3 when combined with an ESP of 0.00% makes a surprise prediction difficult.

We caution against stocks with a Zacks Rank #4 and #5 (Sell-rated stocks) going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions.

Stocks That Warrant a Look

Here are some large cap pharma stocks that you may want to consider, as our model shows that these have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter.

The Earnings ESP for Sanofi SNY is +4.17% and it carries a Zacks Rank #2. The company is scheduled to release results on Apr 29.

The Earnings ESP for AstraZeneca, plc AZN is +5.00% and it carries a Zacks Rank #3. The company is scheduled to release first-quarter results on Apr 29.

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SANOFI-AVENTIS (SNY): Free Stock Analysis Report
ASTRAZENECA PLC (AZN): Free Stock Analysis Report
PFIZER INC (PFE): Free Stock Analysis Report
ALLERGAN PLC (AGN): Free Stock Analysis Report
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