Lipitor's specter casts earnings shadow, diabetes boosts Novo

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Delaying its earnings report by three days put Pfizer's numbers in Halloween's shadow. Revenues were down 16% for the quarter, at $14 billion compared to sales of $17 billion for the same period last year.

Lipitor continued to haunt the company, with a relatively scant $749 million in sales for the quarter -- a 71% drop worldwide compared to $2.6 billion in sales for the same period last year. The statin went generic in November 2011. The company said statin losses lowered primary care revenues by about $2.4 billion for the quarter compared to last year, but global sales of Lyrica and Celebrex helped dampen the impact. The company also had major falloff in sales of its anti-psychotic Geodon, at $57 million in quarterly sales -- a 78% drop from $263 million for the same period last year -- and a 55% falloff in sales of Caduet, with $68 million for the quarter compared to $150 million for the same period last year.

At the same time, the specter of past layoffs materialized in lower Selling, Informational and Administrative expenses, which were down 14% for the quarter. The company said the core of these savings came from “reduction in the field force and a decrease in promotional spending.”

Pfizer also took a look at upcoming events, noting that its RA drug tofacitinib comes up for FDA review this month and that blood-thinner Eliquis is up for review in March. The company said the IPO for Zoetis, its animal health spin-off, looks set for the first half of next year.

Novo Nordisk said it wrapped up the third quarter with $3.4 billion in sales, a 20% increase from the same period last year. The bulk of the growth came from its diabetes business, specifically Victoza and three other insulins, with the US and Europe providing the majority of Victoza's steam. The company was also 1,485 employees heavier, compared to the same period last year, and attributed the increase to expansion in the US and international operations.

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