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Pfizer: Flat Operational EPS Performance in Fiscal 2019?

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EPS performance in fiscal 2018

Pfizer (PFE) reported an adjusted diluted EPS of $3.00 in fiscal 2018—a rise of 13.0% YoY (year-over-year). The performance was in line with the fiscal 2018 adjusted diluted EPS guidance of $2.98–$3.02 provided by the company in its third-quarter earnings conference call.

In the fourth quarter, Pfizer reported an adjusted diluted EPS of $0.64—a rise of 3.23% YoY and $0.01 higher than the consensus revenue estimate. According to Pfizer’s fourth-quarter earnings conference call, the strong EPS performance was associated with higher revenues and lower selling, informational, and advertising expenses in the fourth quarter. The YoY drop in the total number of Pfizer’s outstanding diluted weighted average shares by $152 million also boosted the company’s EPS in the fourth quarter.

According to Pfizer’s fourth-quarter earnings conference call, the reduction in the company’s total outstanding shares is a result of ongoing share repurchase programs. The reduction was partly offset by the company’s share-based compensation programs.

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EPS projections for fiscal 2019

According to Pfizer’s fourth-quarter earnings conference call, the company expects its adjusted diluted EPS for fiscal 2019 to be $2.82–$2.92, excluding the favorable impact of $0.08 per share associated with gains and losses on equity investments. According to the company’s fourth-quarter earnings conference call, Pfizer has included the negative impact of $0.06 per share associated with unfavorable foreign currency fluctuations and the positive impact of anticipated share repurchases worth $9 billion in its fiscal 2019 adjusted diluted EPS guidance.

Next, we’ll discuss Pfizer’s expense performance in the fourth quarter and fiscal 2018.

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