- Pfizer expects sales of its coronavirus vaccine will reach approximately $36 billion this year, an increase of $2.5 billion from what it predicted in July and more than twice what it forecast in February as countries continue to ink supply deals for more doses.
- The sales estimate for 2021 is equivalent to roughly 80% of what Pfizer believes the rest of its business will earn in 2021, reflecting how quickly the vaccine has become a go-to option in the U.S. and around the world. The anticipated sales will translate to about $10 billion in profits for Pfizer after manufacturing and distribution costs, as well as a 50% share of gross profits owed to the company's biotech partner BioNTech.
- Along with the updated sales guidance, Pfizer also on Tuesday gave a glimpse at what sales next year could look like, forecasting at least $29 billion based on orders it's received through mid-October. But that figure could rise significantly, as the company thinks it can make more than twice as many doses next year as already accounted for.
Pfizer is one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies, with dozens of products sold across the globe and several medicines that earn several billions of dollars each year.
But the windfall generated by the success of its COVID-19 shot has quickly overshadowed the rest of the company, accounting for 44% of its revenue and likely about a third of its pre-tax profits.
The billions of dollars in sales is a product of how Pfizer and BioNTech's vaccine has become a dominant option in places like the U.S., even as the companies are criticized for not doing more to make it available in lower-income countries.
On that score, Pfizer recommitted Tuesday to delivering at least one billion doses to low- and middle-income countries this year and one billion next year, out of the roughly 7 billion doses it expects to make through 2022. The U.S., by comparison, has bought or agreed to buy 600 million doses.
More than 75% of Pfizer's revenue through the first nine months of 2021 has come from supply agreements with countries outside the U.S., the company said, but developed countries in Europe and elsewhere account for two-thirds of that share.
In the U.S. and Europe, Pfizer has benefited from having the first vaccine cleared for booster doses and preferentially recommended for younger adolescents and children. According to the company, its average market share as of Oct. 31 was 74% in the U.S. and 80% in Europe, up from 56% and 70%, respectively, in April.
Its advantage could increase, too, as the Food and Drug Administration recently authorized the vaccine for use in children between 5 and 11 years old, a first. The U.S. has bought enough pediatric doses — about 115 million in total — to vaccinate every U.S. child.
Meanwhile, the FDA just extended its review of Moderna's competing shot in adolescents, meaning it could be months before another vaccine is available in the U.S. for people under 18 years of age.
Overall in third quarter, Pfizer reported $24 billion in revenue, ahead of Wall Street's expectations. The drugmaker now predicts between $81 billion and $82 billion for the full year, up from a range of $78 to $80 billion given previously.
Shares rose by more than 4% in early Tuesday trading on news of the earnings numbers.