Pfizer (PFE) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Wednesday. The firm currently has $41.00 price target on the biopharmaceutical company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Pfizer is working on strengthening its product portfolio through acquisitions and licensing deals. However, Pfizer continues to face headwinds in the form of genericization of key drugs, lost alliance revenues, pricing pressure and rising competition which is hurting the top-line. Though Pfizer’s growing immuno-oncology portfolio offers strong potential, many of these assets are in early stage of development. Nonetheless, we believe that new products like Ibrance, contribution from acquisitions, cost-cutting efforts and share buybacks should help the company achieve its guidance. Pfizer also boasts a strong pipeline and expects approximately 25 to 30 drug approvals over the next five years, including around 15 products with blockbuster potential. Bavencio is being considered a key long-term growth driver. The company has a mixed record of earnings surprises in recent quarters. Estimates have remained stable ahead of its Q4 results.”

Several other brokerages have also issued reports on PFE. Nord/LB reaffirmed a neutral rating on shares of Pfizer in a research report on Wednesday, December 27th. Deutsche Bank set a $38.00 target price on Pfizer and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 11th. Goldman Sachs Group set a $36.00 target price on Pfizer and gave the stock a neutral rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 1st. BMO Capital Markets set a $39.00 target price on Pfizer and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Friday, December 15th. Finally, Jefferies Group set a $39.00 target price on Pfizer and gave the stock a neutral rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 1st. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $38.94.

Shares of Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) traded down $0.06 on Wednesday, hitting $36.94. The stock had a trading volume of 29,540,000 shares, compared to its average volume of 16,490,000. Pfizer has a one year low of $30.90 and a one year high of $37.37. The company has a market cap of $220,190.00, a PE ratio of 22.66, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.30 and a beta of 1.01. The company has a quick ratio of 1.15, a current ratio of 1.43 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.56.

Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 31st. The biopharmaceutical company reported $0.67 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.65 by $0.02. Pfizer had a return on equity of 25.41% and a net margin of 18.69%. The company had revenue of $13.17 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $13.17 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.61 EPS. Pfizer’s revenue was up .9% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts anticipate that Pfizer will post 2.59 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Pfizer announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback program on Monday, December 18th that allows the company to buyback $10.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the biopharmaceutical company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are generally an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 1st. Shareholders of record on Friday, February 2nd will be issued a dividend of $0.34 per share. This is an increase from Pfizer’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.32. This represents a $1.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.68%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, February 1st. Pfizer’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 78.53%.

In other Pfizer news, insider Alexander R. Mackenzie sold 14,700 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $35.30, for a total transaction of $518,910.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 117,432 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,145,349.60. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider Alexander R. Mackenzie sold 6,750 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $37.00, for a total value of $249,750.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 103,458 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,827,946. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 29,450 shares of company stock valued at $1,065,220. Company insiders own 0.06% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of PFE. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its stake in shares of Pfizer by 2.3% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 418,639,111 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $14,062,088,000 after buying an additional 9,239,499 shares during the period. Ameriprise Financial Inc. grew its stake in shares of Pfizer by 4.4% in the 3rd quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 59,844,024 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $2,136,189,000 after buying an additional 2,502,659 shares during the period. Franklin Resources Inc. grew its stake in shares of Pfizer by 0.9% in the 2nd quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 46,167,213 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $1,550,754,000 after buying an additional 389,629 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its stake in shares of Pfizer by 4.8% in the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 44,286,544 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $1,487,617,000 after buying an additional 2,028,313 shares during the period. Finally, Fisher Asset Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Pfizer by 3.2% in the 3rd quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC now owns 35,120,799 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $1,253,813,000 after buying an additional 1,085,437 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 69.75% of the company’s stock.

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About Pfizer

Pfizer Inc (Pfizer) is a research-based global biopharmaceutical company. The Company is engaged in the discovery, development and manufacture of healthcare products. Its global portfolio includes medicines and vaccines, as well as consumer healthcare products. The Company manages its commercial operations through two business segments: Pfizer Innovative Health (IH) and Pfizer Essential Health (EH).

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