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Ruthless Pfizer; a good bet?

Pfizer reported third-quarter profit that exceeded analyst estimates and also confirmed its plans significantly decrease its work force to uplift profits. Profits were 54 cents a share.

Revenue rose 39 percent to $16.2 billion.  This included revenue from Wyeth products, a major firm that was acquired by Pfizer for 68 Billion Dollars and one that the firm is looking to upgrade its business significantly.

 Company officials in a statement raised their earnings forecast for the year to between $2.17 and $2.22 a share when some items are excluded. Pfizer said in August it expected earnings of $2.10 a share to $2.20 a share. Without excluding items, the company lowered the forecast to 84 cents to 94 cents a share from a range of 95 cents to $1.10.

Pfizer reported impairment charges of $1.5 billion related to the $68 billion purchase of Wyeth and a $701 million charge for asbestos litigation for its subsidiary Quigley Company Inc.

Pfizer shares fell 3 cents to $17.59. The shares had increased 3.5 percent in the last 12 months.

The drug Lipitor, Pfizer’s flagshop product of late and world’s top-selling drug with $11.4 billion in sales last year, faces U.S. competition from generic versions in latter 2011.

New acquasations in the making are to buy King Pharmaceuticals Inc. for $3.6 billion to acquire a painkiller franchise and the purchase of Biocon Ltd. for $200 million to make insulin products in India.

Slashing jobs for profit

Pfizer has been reducing costs and said it’s on schedule to fire 19,000 employees, close 8 manufacturing plants and shut 6 research centers as it works through it plans for the Wyeth purchase.  It is reportedly bracing for the lost revenue associated with Lipitor as patent protection expires.

Since 2009, Pfizer had fired about 40,000 employees

So, are they a good buy?   As long as Pfizer successfully pursues its hunger for new revenue-drug-firms acquisitions, and continues to ruthlessly slash jobs and costs, they appear to have a winning formula.

Disclosure: None