Pfizer expects Covid vaccine gross sales of round $ 15 billion in 2021

Empty vials containing the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine are seen at a drive-through vaccination facility operated by the Lake County Health Department in Groveland, Florida on January 28, 2021.

Paul Hennessy | NurPhoto | Getty Images

Pfizer expects to sell around $ 15 billion worth of coronavirus vaccine doses this year, the company said when it released its fourth quarter earnings on Tuesday.

This year, sales are forecast to be between $ 59.4 billion and $ 61.4 billion.

The company also raised its full-year earnings guidance from $ 3.10 to $ 3.10-3.20, citing "additional improvements" to its guidance for vaccine sales.

According to Refinitiv's average estimates, Pfizer performed in the fourth quarter compared to Wall Street expectations.

  • Adjusted EPS: 42 cents compared to 48 cents expected.
  • Revenue: $ 11.68 billion versus $ 11.43 billion expected.

Revenue rose 12% from $ 10.44 billion in the same quarter last year to $ 11.68 billion – better than analysts expected.

Pfizer's shares were largely unchanged in premarket trading.

"As a company, we have seen the culmination of Pfizer's decades of transformation into a pure science and innovation-driven company," said CEO Albert Bourla in a press release. "Our ability to move forward quickly and use the latest scientific knowledge to address the world's major medical challenges has been tested by the COVID-19 pandemic."

The company's Covid-19 vaccine, which it produces together with German partner BioNTech, was the first to be approved for use in the United States.

Pfizer, like other Covid vaccine manufacturers, is struggling to meet demand for shots which, hopefully, will help end the pandemic. Pfizer has announced that it will ship 200 million doses of its two-shot vaccine to the United States by July 31. The company recently turned to French drug maker Sanofi for help with making cans.

The company also said Tuesday it would be "ready to act" if a variant of Covid shows evidence that it is evading its vaccine. In the past few weeks, U.S. health officials, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, raised concerns that vaccines currently on the market may not be as effective against new, more contagious strains of the virus.

Novavax said Thursday that its vaccine was only 49% effective against B.1.351, the highly contagious strain found in South Africa. Johnson & Johnson also said its vaccine was less effective against the strain. On Friday, the one-shot vaccine was 66% effective overall, but only 57% against the South African strain.

A study conducted by Pfizer found that the new, highly contagious Covid-19 strains in the UK and South Africa had little impact on the vaccine's effectiveness. Nevertheless, Pfizer is developing a booster shot to protect itself from the new variants. Moderna and Novavax are also developing modified vaccines.

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