Pfizer beats profit forecasts

<p>The US drug maker earned $2.67 billion in Q3 2014. </p>

Pfizer today (October 28th) posted better-than-expected results in the third quarter of the year, helped by growing sales of its cancer drugs and demand from emerging markets.

The US drugmaker said it had earned $2.67 billion (£1.65 billion), or 42 cents per share, in the third quarter. The figure last year was $2.59 billion. Third-quarter earnings slipped to 57 cents per share from 58 cents a share in the year-earlier period. However, analysts on average expected 55 cents, according to Reuters. Revenue decreased to $12.36 billion from $12.58 billion a year ago, but topped Wall Street expectations of $12.24 billion. 

Pfizer has attempted to fight off increased generic competition by developing new drugs, such as its Prevnar pneumonia vaccine, which was recently recommended for use in adults older than 65. It is also planning to release breast-cancer drug Palbociclib, currently being reviewed by the US Food and Drug Administration.

The company did not signal any acquisition plans following its failed attempt to buy rival British drugmaker AstraZeneca. Pfizer officially gave up on this project after its final $118 billion bid was rejected on May 26th, but under UK takeover rules, Pfizer can make another run at AstraZeneca late next month, CNBC reports.

Pfizer chief executive officer Ian Read said in July that Pfizer was looking at other potential deals and that taxes would be one of three major considerations.

Pfizer is the largest American pharmaceutical company, with a market cap of about $183 billion. Following the report, its shares rose two per cent in US premarket trade to $29.63.

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