Pfizer Inc. (PFE.N) topped analysts’ earnings estimates after boosting the prices for several key drugs including blood thinner Eliquis, arthritis drug Xeljanz and cancer treatment Ibrance.

-The drugmaker’s division that makes medicines primarily given in the hospital, which it recently shifted into its new-drug unit, saw sales fall 8 per cent in the first quarter.

Key Insights

-Pfizer temporarily halted price increases last year after President Donald J. Trump pressured the drug giant, though it later raised prices of 41 drugs including three of its biggest sellers. Blockbuster blood thinner Eliquis beat forecasts, bringing in US$1.01 billion, compared with estimates of US$924 million; arthritis drug Xeljanz and cancer dug Ibrance fell short.

-It’s the first full quarter for incoming CEO Albert Bourla, who took over on Jan 1. He was widely expected to take over from now-chairman Ian Read who ran the company for eight years through two high profile, failed merger attempts for Allergan Plc and AstraZeneca Plc.

-The drugmaker boosted the midpoint of its adjusted earnings guidance for this year by a penny a share to US$2.83 to US$2.93, and said some of its gains would be offset by unfavourable fluctuations in the value of the U.S. dollar.

Market Reaction

-Shares climbed about 0.7 per cent to US$39.85 at 9:36 a.m. in New York. Through Monday’s close, Pfizer shares had fallen 9.3 per cent since the start of this year, after being a top performer in the Dow Jones Industrial Average in 2018.

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-Adjusted earnings per share climbed 13 per cent in the first quarter, Pfizer said.