updated 7/18/2007 8:06:07 AM ET 2007-07-18T12:06:07

Drugmaker Pfizer Inc. said Wednesday its second-quarter profit fell 48 percent year-over-year, hurt by the loss of patent exclusivity for its Zoloft and Norvasc drugs and by sluggish sales of blockbuster cholesterol drug, Lipitor, in the U.S.

Despite that, Pfizer reaffirmed its guidance for 2007 and 2008 financial results.

Net income slid to $1.27 billion, or 18 cents per share, from $2.42 billion, or 33 cents per share, a year ago. Excluding items, adjusted profit fell 20 percent to $2.94 bilion, or 42 cents per share, from $3.66 billion, or 50 cents per share, a year ago.

Latest-quarter results include payments to Bristol-Myers Squibb in connection with their partnership to develop and market the cardiovascular drug apixaban.

Revenue dipped 6 percent to $11.08 billion from $11.74 billion in the prior-year period. Pfizer said Lipitor sales declined 13 percent in the second quarter, as 5 percent growth in international markets was more than offset by a 25 percent decline in the U.S.

The results missed analysts' expectations for adjusted profit of 50 cents per share on revenue of $11.4 billion, according to a survey by Thomson Financial.

"While there's no question that we faced difficult challenges in the second quarter of 2007 _ including the impact of the loss of U.S. exclusivity for Zoloft and Norvasc, the timing of some expenses and Lipitor's performance in the U.S. _ we're still on track to meet our previously announced 2007 and 2008 revenue and adjusted diluted earnings per share goals," said Jeffrey Kindler, Pfizer chairman and chief executive officer, in a statement.

The company said changes in U.S. wholesaler inventory levels and differences in reconciling internal and external data accounted for about half of Lipitor's U.S. revenue decline in the second quarter, but aren't expected to hurt U.S. performance in the second half of the year. Other factors included lower levels of prescriptions and increased rebates.

Looking ahead, Pfizer reaffirmed its fiscal 2007 outlook for adjusted profit of $2.08 to $2.15 per share on revenue of $47 billion to $48 billion, as well as adjusted earnings guidance for 2008 of $2.31 to $2.45 per share on sales of $46.5 billion to $48.5 billion.

On average, Wall Street is predicting 2007 earnings of $2.14 per share on revenue of $47.72 billion for fiscal 2007 and profit of $2.34 per share on revenue of $47.27 billion for fiscal 2008.

The company said it has repurchased $5 billion shares in the first half of the year and plans to purchase up to an additional $5 billion in stock in the second half of 2007.

Shares closed Tuesday at $25.96 and slipped 46 cents to $25.50 in premarket electronic trading.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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