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Pfizer’s profit falls due to acquisition charges

/ Source: The Associated Press

Pfizer Inc. on Thursday said earnings for the third quarter fell due to acquisition-related charges, and the company said it faces challenges in growing revenue and cut it earnings outlook for the year.

Net income fell to $1.59 billion, or 22 cents per share, from $3.34 billion, or 44 cents per share, a year ago. The latest quarter included charges and other costs that lowered earnings by 29 cents per share. Excluding those costs, earnings for the quarter were 51 cents per share.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were expecting the company to post a profit of 48 cents per share, excluding items, on revenue of $12.5 billion. Revenue fell 5 percent to $12.19 billion from $12.83 billion. Consumer health-care revenue rose 8 percent, but revenue at the human health business, Pfizer’s largest division, fell 7 percent to $10.55 billion.

“Revenues in the third quarter of 2005 reflected lower prescription growth and increased competition in key therapeutic markets in the U.S., such as the lipid-lowering market, where the rate of growth in the third quarter declined significantly versus the first half of the year; and the erectile-dysfunction market, which has been in decline compared to 2004,” said Hank McKinnell, chairman and chief executive officer.

McKinnell said the “effects of these considerations are expected to temper fourth-quarter revenues as well,” and the company lowered its forecast for full-year earnings, excluding items, to $1.92 to $1.94 per share from a prior forecast of $1.98 per share.