Pfizer's Covid-19 Vaccine Lifts Quarterly Results
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Pfizer Inc. said it expects its Covid-19 vaccine to generate about $26 billion in sales this year, a major increase from several months ago that reflects the shot's growing role in the global vaccination campaign. Pfizer rose 12 cents, or 0.3%, to $39.95. The Pfizer vaccine is the most-administered of the three Covid-19 vaccines cleared for use in the U.S. and increasingly is available around the world. Pfizer raised its vaccine sales forecast from $15 billion earlier this year as more countries sign supply agreements. The two-dose shot, which Pfizer developed with BioNTech SE, contributed $3.5 billion to the company's $14.6 billion overall sales during the first three months of the year, Pfizer said. Pfizer and BioNTech are waiting on decisions from U.S. and European regulators, who are considering whether to authorize the vaccine for children as young as 12 years old. Quarterly sales also rose in Pfizer's divisions for oncology, internal medicine and hospital products, along with sales of other drugs in its portfolio. Sales for blood thinner Eliquis rose by one-quarter from a year ago to $1.6 billion, while sales for heart drug Vyndaqel nearly doubled to $453 million. Higher vaccine sales boosted Pfizer's outlook for the full year. The company now expects total revenue of $70.5 billion to $72.5 billion in 2021, with an adjusted profit of $3.55 to $3.65 a share. Pfizer's previous revenue forecast had guided for sales of $59.4 billion to $61.4 billion, with an adjusted profit of $3.10 to $3.20 a share.
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Political tensions in East Asia have weighed on the Swiss stock market in trading on Tuesday. In the market, reports made the rounds that the Chinese air force had violated Taiwan's airspace. However, the news from East Asia already met an unstable market in Europe. The positive Corona development in Switzerland and consumers eager to spend were hardly able to brighten the mood beforehand. The ever louder discussion about monetary tightening unsettled investors. Now, even US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen brought interest rate hikes into play. If more than a million new jobs had actually been created in the US, this would greatly fuel the debate, it was said with a view to the US labor market report on Friday. The SMI fell 1.3 percent to 10,971 points. Among the 20 SMI stocks, there were 19 price losers and one winner. Turnover was 42.96 (previously: 29.43) million shares. Geberit resisted the downward pull with an increase of 0.6 percent. The sanitary technology provider delivered better than expected first quarter figures. The company also expressed confidence for the current period. Baader Helvea expressed enthusiasm, pointing in particular to organic growth of 13 percent and an EBITDA margin of 34.6 percent. SGS fell 0.8 percent. The merchandise testing group announced the acquisition of the Dutch company Brightsight. Adecco slipped 5.1 percent, the staffing services provider had returned to profit. However, sales showed a decline.
European equity indices ended sharply lower on Tuesday, as investors worried about the inflation outlook and continued to monitor developments in the Covid-19 pandemic around the world. They are also expecting an acceleration in corporate releases in Europe starting Wednesday. The Stoxx Europe 600 index lost 1.4% to 433.7 points. In Paris, the CAC 40 and the SBF 120 gave up 0.9% each. In Frankfurt, the DAX 30 fell 2.5%, while in London, the FTSE 100 was down 0.7%. Bombardier says it's shedding the 3.1% Alstom stake it received earlier this year when it sold its transportation segment to the French rail company. Bombardier said it will sell the roughly 11.5 million Alstom shares in an accelerated bookbuild offering to qualified investors, adding that the move is in line with its strategic priorities. The shares were valued at EUR500 million, or EUR43.46 apiece, when the deal closed in January. Trigano (+11.5%) reported results well above forecasts for the first half of its 2020-2021 fiscal year. Dassault Aviation (+3.5%) benefited from the announcement of a new order for 30 Rafale fighter jets by Egypt. Neoen lost 6%, after Societe Generale resumed monitoring the value with a "sell" recommendation and a price target of 36.50 euros. The financial intermediary had suspended its recommendation last March, when Neoen had announced the launch of a capital increase with preferential subscription rights of about 600 million euros. Societe Generale was one of the global coordinators, lead managers and joint bookrunners for this capital operation. Vivendi (-0.6%) has committed to sell most of its stake in Mediaset (+2.6% on the Milan Stock Exchange) within the next five years, as part of an agreement ending its dispute with the Italian broadcasting group and its parent company Fininvest. The rating agency Moody's raised the outlook for the "A3" rating of industrial gases specialist Air Liquide from "stable" to "positive" on Tuesday (-0.5%). Infineon lost 5.9% on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, despite the upward revision of its forecasts for the current fiscal year and an increase in its second quarter results. The German semiconductor manufacturer warned that in the third quarter, "revenue growth will continue to be held back by supply constraints, including the temporary closure of [its] production site in Austin, Texas, in February, as well as capacity limits in the foundries."
Technology and other growth stocks stumbled Tuesday, coming under pressure after a run that has pushed major indexes to repeated records. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 261.61 points, or 1.9%, to 13633.50, stung by declines in shares of semiconductor companies, along with big tech stocks including Apple, Facebook and Alphabet. The S&P 500 slid 28 points, or 0.7%, to 4164.66. The Dow Jones Industrial Average eked out a slight increase after trading lower for most of the session, up 19.80 points, or 0.1%, to 34133.03. Semiconductor and other tech stocks were among the biggest decliners in Tuesday’s market. Western Digital, Applied Materials and Nvidia all declined more than 3%, as did Apple. Google parent Alphabet and Facebook dropped more than 1%. Bitcoin also tumbled after more than doubling to start the year. The digital currency dropped more than 5% during afternoon trading, according to CoinDesk. Dogecoin, the cryptocurrency that started out as a parody, kept climbing, however, rising more than 30%. CVS Health rose $3.43, or 4.4%, to $81.12, after lifting its earnings guidance and reporting higher profits for the quarter. Under Armour ticked down 29 cents, or 1.2%, to $23.88, after agreeing to settle a regulatory claim that it failed to disclose it was pulling forward orders from future quarters.
Predominantly subdued sentiment prevails on the stock exchanges in East Asia on Wednesday. Selling pressure in Asia was weakened by the statements relativized by U.S. Treasury Secretary (and former Federal Reserve Chair) Janet Yellen: she had neither predicted nor recommended interest rate hikes. While the stock exchanges in Japan, mainland China and South Korea are closed for the holiday on Wednesday, prices in Hong Kong are more or less treading water. In Singapore, the Straits Times index loses 0.9 percent. The KLCI in Kuala Lumpur falls by 0.1 percent.
U.S. government-bond yields declined for a third consecutive day. The 10-year Treasury yield edged down to 1.591%, from 1.606% on Monday. Bond yields fall when prices rise.
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