Pfizer Sells $7.8 Billion in Covid Shots in the Second Quarter, Raises 2021 Guidance on Vaccine Sales

Grand Prairie and Irving opening up COVID-19 vaccination site at The Theatre at Grand Prairie tomorrow, Feb. 3rd
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  • Pfizer said it sold $7.8 billion in Covid-19 shots in the second quarter.
  • It also raised its 2021 sales forecast for the vaccine to $33.5 billion from $26 billion.
  • The company's second-quarter financial results also beat Wall Street expectations on both earnings and revenue.

Pfizer said Wednesday it sold $7.8 billion in Covid-19 shots in the second quarter and raised its 2021 sales forecast for the vaccine to $33.5 billion from $26 billion, as the delta variant spreads and scientists debate whether people will need booster shots.

The company's second-quarter financial results also beat Wall Street expectations on earnings and revenue. Here's how Pfizer did compared with what Wall Street expected, according to average estimates compiled by Refinitiv:

  • Adjusted earnings per share: $1.07 per share vs. 97 cents per share expected
  • Revenue: $18.98 billion vs. $18.74 billion forecast

Pfizer expects an adjusted pretax profit in the high 20% range of revenue for the vaccine.

The company now expects full-year earnings in the range of $3.95 to $4.05 per share. That's up from its prior range of $3.55 to $3.65 per share. It expects revenue in the range of $78 billion to $80 billion, up from its previous estimate of $70.5 billion to $72.5 billion.

Shares of Pfizer rose 2.5% in intraday trading.

"The second quarter was remarkable in a number of ways," Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in a statement. "Most visibly, the speed and efficiency of our efforts with BioNTech to help vaccinate the world against COVID-19 have been unprecedented, with now more than a billion doses of BNT162b2 having been delivered globally."

Pfizer's other business units also saw strong sales growth. Revenue from its oncology unit rose by 19% year over year to $3.1 billion. The company's hospital unit generated $2.2 billion in revenue, up 21% from the prior year. Its internal medicine unit grew by 5% from a year ago to $2.4 billion.

Pfizer said earlier this month it was seeing signs of waning immunity induced by its Covid vaccine with German drugmaker BioNTech, and planned to ask the Food and Drug Administration to authorize a booster dose. It also said it is developing a booster shot to target the delta variant.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization don't recommend Covid booster shots at this time.

Dr. Kate O'Brien, WHO's director of immunization, vaccines and biologicals, said Wednesday the organization is still researching whether a booster shot is needed to increase protection.

"We're very clear on this, there's not enough information to provide a recommendation at this point," O'Brien said in a Q&A interview posted on the organization's social media accounts. "Again, this is a very hot topic, and there's a lot of research going on to be able to provide an evidence-based recommendation."

During Pfizer's post-earnings conference call Wednesday, executives said they continue to believe people will need a third dose of the vaccine within 12 months to maintain its high level of protection against the virus. But with delta spreading in several countries, Bourla said some people might need a third shot "a little earlier."

In slides posted Wednesday alongside its earnings report, Pfizer said it could potentially file for an emergency use authorization for a booster dose with the FDA as early as August. It expects to begin clinical studies testing its delta variant vaccine in the same month.

"We are in ongoing discussion with regulatory agencies regarding a potential third dose booster of the current vaccine and, assuming positive results, anticipate an emergency use authorization as early as August," Pfizer's Chief Scientific Officer Mikael Dolsten told investors.

It expects full approval for its two-dose vaccine by January 2022.

On the earnings call, Bourla said it is "too early" to discuss the outlook for 2022, but noted the company has vaccine agreements with multiple countries.

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