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Saturday, September 02, 2006

Weekend Edition: Pfizer Hits A High Note

Stocks: (PFE)

Shares in Pfizer managed to hit their highest price since mid-2005. The shares hit $27.75 during trading after nearly touching $20 in November.

For the last four quarters, Pfizer’s financial results have been relatively strong, but somewhat mixed. In the quarter ending July 2, revenue was $10.8 billion. That number was stronger in each of the previous three quarters, but at $3.2 billion, operating income made for a better comparison with previous periods.

A jury also recently found that Pfizer did not infringe on a Synthon patent covering high blood pressure medication.

Pfizer is not without problems. Patent protection for its best-selling drug Lipitor will expire soon, and cholesterol generics are already in the market. According to the Associated Press, Pfizer’s soon-to-be released diabetes drug has just had a portion of its underlying intellectual property challenged. But, Pfizer has drugs that will be launched soon for people who want to stop smoking and a new inhaled insulin drug.

But, a lot of the rise in Pfizer’s stock is based on the intangible of having a new CEO whose predecessor was viewed as a failure. Hope springs eternal in the stock market, and Pfizer is not exception.

Investors can watch from the stadium seating and see how the new management does. Since Pfizer has a 3.5% yield, the presence of their coupons can warm them if Pfizer’s stock gets a little cool again.

Douglas A. McIntyre can be reached at He does not own securities in companies that he writes about.

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