Pfizer reported today that revenues and profits fell again in the fourth quarter of 2014 as the drug maker continued to suffer from the loss of exclusive rights to various treatments.
Revenues dropped 3.2% from the year-earlier quarter to $13.1 billion, and net income was down 52.1% to $1.2 billion.
However, the results beat analysts' expectations, as the erosion of the company's income stream from the steady loss of exclusive rights to produce and sell a number of drugs has been ongoing for several years.
For the full year of 2014, Pfizer said revenues dropped 3.8% to $49.6 billion, taking diluted EPS to $1.42, down from $3.19 in 2013.
The company predicted more of the same for this year, saying it expected revenues to run between $44.5-$46.5 billion and but that earnings per share might improve, with a range of $1.37-$1.52 expected.
"Despite significant continued revenue headwinds from product losses of exclusivity and co-promote expiries, we were able to deliver modest adjusted diluted EPS growth," said Pfizer chairman and chief executive Ian Reed.
Pfizer's earnings have been suffering the steady loss of full patent protection on a number of drugs, allowing producers of generic medicines to cut into its markets and profit margins.
Like other large drug producers, it has also come under pressure to cut the prices of exclusive new drugs to ensure they are accessible to the broader global population.
The company said yesterday it would cut the price for the third time of its Prevenar 13 pneumococcal vaccine. The price was reduced by 20 cents to $3.10 a dose, with the full course requiring four doses.