Zacks Investment Research Lowers Pfizer (PFE) to Hold

Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Pfizer has strengthened its product portfolio through acquisitions and licensing deals. However, Pfizer continues to face headwinds in the form of genericization of key drugs, supply challenges in the legacy Hospira portfolio, pricing pressure and rising competition, which are hurting the top line. Additionally, Pfizer’s shares have underperformed the industry in the past one year. Nonetheless, we believe that new products like Ibrance, contribution from acquisitions, cost-cutting efforts and share buybacks should help the company achieve its guidance. Pfizer also boasts a strong pipeline and expects approximately 25 to 30 drug approvals over the next five years, including around 15 products that have blockbuster potential. Pfizer’s growing immuno-oncology portfolio offers a strong potential. Pfizer has a mixed record of earnings surprises in recent quarters. Estimates have gone up slightly ahead of its Q4 earnings release.”

Several other equities analysts also recently commented on PFE. ValuEngine raised shares of Pfizer from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, October 6th. BMO Capital Markets set a $37.00 price objective on shares of Pfizer and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 10th. Barclays set a $38.00 price objective on shares of Pfizer and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 11th. Deutsche Bank set a $38.00 price target on shares of Pfizer and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 11th. Finally, Jefferies Group set a $38.00 price target on shares of Pfizer and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, October 16th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Pfizer currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $38.12.

Shares of Pfizer (NYSE PFE) remained flat at $$36.94 during trading hours on Monday. 8,230,000 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 16,740,000. The stock has a market capitalization of $220,160.00, a P/E ratio of 22.66, a P/E/G ratio of 2.29 and a beta of 1.01. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.56, a current ratio of 1.43 and a quick ratio of 1.15. Pfizer has a 52-week low of $30.90 and a 52-week high of $37.37.

Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 31st. The biopharmaceutical company reported $0.67 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.65 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $13.17 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $13.17 billion. Pfizer had a net margin of 18.69% and a return on equity of 25.41%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up .9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.61 earnings per share. equities research analysts forecast that Pfizer will post 2.6 earnings per share for the current year.

Pfizer declared that its board has initiated a share buyback program on Monday, December 18th that authorizes the company to repurchase $10.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the biopharmaceutical company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are usually an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

In other Pfizer news, EVP Rady A. Johnson sold 8,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $37.07, for a total transaction of $296,560.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 46,963 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,740,918.41. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Alexander R. Mackenzie sold 14,700 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $35.30, for a total transaction of $518,910.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 117,432 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,145,349.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 29,450 shares of company stock valued at $1,065,220 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.06% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in PFE. Lowe FS boosted its holdings in Pfizer by 54.9% in the third quarter. Lowe FS now owns 734 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $23,000 after purchasing an additional 260 shares during the last quarter. Taylor Wealth Management Partners boosted its holdings in Pfizer by 4.3% in the fourth quarter. Taylor Wealth Management Partners now owns 2,555 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $82,000 after purchasing an additional 105 shares during the last quarter. Asset Planning Services Ltd. boosted its holdings in Pfizer by 4.9% in the first quarter. Asset Planning Services Ltd. now owns 2,961 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $101,000 after purchasing an additional 137 shares during the last quarter. Nelson Roberts Investment Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in Pfizer by 6.7% in the second quarter. Nelson Roberts Investment Advisors LLC now owns 2,999 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $106,000 after purchasing an additional 189 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Shine Investment Advisory Services Inc. purchased a new stake in Pfizer in the second quarter worth approximately $102,000. 69.79% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Pfizer Company Profile

Pfizer Inc (Pfizer) is a research-based global biopharmaceutical company. The Company is engaged in the discovery, development and manufacture of healthcare products. Its global portfolio includes medicines and vaccines, as well as consumer healthcare products. The Company manages its commercial operations through two business segments: Pfizer Innovative Health (IH) and Pfizer Essential Health (EH).

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