Pfizer Approves $10B Share Repurchase Program

Pfizer Approves $10B Share Repurchase Program
By Pfizer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) said in a statement that its board of directors has authorized a whopping $10 billion share buyback program in an attempt to boost shareholder value. The largest U.S. pharmaceutical company said that the new plan is in addition to the $3.9 billion of authorized buyback remaining under the current program.

Pfizer Approves $10B Share Repurchase Program

Pfizer’s Shareholder-friendly Moves

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE)’s board also declared a 24 cent dividend for the third quarter. The dividend will be paid on September 4, 2013 to shareholders of record on August 2, 2013. It will be the 299th straight quarterly dividend by the company. The New York-based company has taken several shareholder friendly measures like repurchasing its shares and shedding off non-core assets.

As Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) is witnessing patent expiry on some of its blockbuster drugs, including Lipitor, the company is trying to bounce back and focus on its core business of prescription drugs that have much higher profit margins. The company continues to sell non-pharmaceutical units. Last year, Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) sold its nutrition business to Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) in a $11.9 billion deal. It has spun off its animal drug business Zoetis Inc. (NYSE:ZTS). Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) is also planning to offload its wide range of generic drugs, and retain only patent protected drugs.

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Pfizer Lowers Revenue And Earnings Guidance

After full divestment of Zoetis Inc. (NYSE:ZTS), Pfizer has lowered its full year earnings outlook. The company now expects $2.10 to $2.20 a share, compared to the previous estimate of $2.14 to $2.24. It has also lowered the revenue guidance for 2013 to $50.8 billion to $52.8 billion. Its earlier estimate was $55.3 billion to $57.3 billion. The company said its earlier estimate included earnings and revenues from its stake in Zoetis.

JPMorgan said in a research note that it has upgraded Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) to an Overweight rating with December 2014 price target of $33. JPMorgan analyst Chris Schott said that after the completion of Zoetis Inc. (NYSE:ZTS) share exchange, Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) will shift its focus to bringing new products like breast cancer drug palbociclib to the market. Analysts expect further break-up of the pharmaceutical giant.

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) shares were up 0.98 percent to $28.46 at 10:12 AM EDT.

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