Drugmaker Pfizer said Tuesday morning that its fourth quarter revenue declined from $13.558 billion in 2013 to $13.118 billion in the same period of last year, a three percent decline. The full-year revenue declined from $51.584 billion in 2013 to $49.605 billion in 2014, a four percent decline.
Pfizer is based in Manhattan and has a big operation in Collegeville, Montgomery County.
Pfizer's profit declined in the fourth quarter and for the full year. The company said fourth quarter profit declined from $2.568 billion in 2013 to $1.228 billion in the same period of 2014, a decline of 52 percent. The full-year profit declined from $22.003 billion in 2013 to $9.135 billion, a decline of 58 percent.
In its statement, Pfizer said several one-time corporate events contributed to the declines when comparing quarters and full year results. The statement is here. But, like Johnson & Johnson said last week, Pfizer's finances face some recurring problems, including patent expirations leading to generic competition, price pressure from insurers (public and private) and currency exchange rates, especially in Europe.
Trying to keep some investors happy, Pfizer noted that it returned nearly $12 billion to shareholders through share buybacks and dividends in 2014.
For most of a year, Pfizer has been searching for a big company to buy, to help its product pipeline and its corporate status.
In 2014, it tried to takeover AstraZeneca, because AstraZeneca has some promising cancer drugs in its pipeline. But more importantly for Pfizer, AstraZeneca is based in the United Kingdom, which has a lower corporate tax rate. While UK Prime Minister David Camerson, a conservative, promotes U.K.'s tax situation, he knew that Pfizer would cut jobs in any such takeover. AstraZeneca has operations in Wilmington and Newark, Delaware, and Fort Washington, Montgomery County. The U.S. Treasury Department's announcement in October of new rules on how taxes are calculated were designed to crimp U.S. corporate efforts to register in other countries only for the sake of lowering their U.S. tax bill.
More recently, Bloomberg reported that Pfizer approached Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd., about buying the Israel-based drugmaker, but was rebuffed. Teva has several facilities in the Philadelphia region. It's biggest selling drug is the multiple sclerosis medication Copaxone, but much of its revenue (and history) comes from selling generic medication.
Pfizer does not have a generic operation now. In a bit of irony, Pfizer's lower 2014 revenue was attributable to not having about $2 billion it got from Teva in 2013 because of a patent infringement legal case. Teva had started selling a generic version of Pfizer's Protonix medicine in hopes that it could win the legal argument that Pfizer's patents were invalid or that it could strike a favorable deal with Pfizer.
"We remain in a strong financial position that will enable us to invest in our business at appropriate levels, continue to pursue attractive business development activities and also continue to return meaningful capital directly to our shareholders," Pfizer chief executive Ian Read said in a company statement.