Pfizer profits up despite 9 percent revenue drop

US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer reported higher earnings but lower revenues on the loss of some popular drugs to generic status as it trimmed its 2013 profit forecast.

Pfizer reported net income of $2.75 billion, up 53 percent from $1.79 billion in the year-earlier period. Revenues came in at $13.50 billion, down from $14.89 billion in the year-earlier period.

Pfizer's per-share earnings came in at 38 cents. The adjusted earnings came in at 54 cents per share. Pfizer had been forecast by analysts to report 56 cents per share.

Pfizer said the drop in revenue was primarily the result of losses of exclusivity of its Lipitor anti-cholesterol drug in the second quarter of 2012 in Europe and Geodon, a schizophrenia drug, in March 2012 in the US.

Pfizer's profits were boosted by a $490 million gain related to an investment in China and by the absence of a $450 million charge related to litigation in the prior year.

Pfizer also reported lower research and development expenses and selling and administrative expenses.

Pfizer trimmed some of its guidance for 2013. The current range of revenue is $55.3-$57.3 billion, down from the previous range of $56.2-$58.2 billion. Reported diluted earnings per share are now $1.44-$1.58, down from $1.50-$1.65.

In trimming its guidance, Pfizer cited the effects of the cheaper yen and the removal of profits related to its initial public offering of 19.8 percent of its Zoetis animal health unit.

Pfizer executives noted the company spent $8 billion on dividends and share repurchases so far in 2013. Approximately $6 billion came from the Zoetis launch and a related debt offering.

Pfizer executives said recent product launches have set the company up to benefit further.

"We remain focused on driving innovation and managing the business in the context of the challenging operating environment to ensure Pfizer remains well-positioned for long-term value creation," said chief executive Ian Read.

Pfizer shares were down 3.4 percent in pre-market trading.