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Pfizer beats forecasts, helped by cost cuts

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Tags: Pfizer

Pfizer Inc. (PFE-N) reported higher-than-expected quarterly earnings, helped by cuts in research spending and other costs, and affirmed its 2012 profit forecast despite the negative impact of the stronger dollar.

The largest U.S. drugmaker said on Tuesday that it earned $3.25 billion US, or 43 cents per share, in the second quarter. That compared with $2.61 billion, or 33 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding special items, Pfizer earned 62 cents per share. Analysts, on average, expected 54 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Pfizer's global revenue fell 9 percent to $15.06 billion, hurt by generic competition against its Lipitor cholesterol fighter, but topped Wall Street expectations of $14.87 billion.

The company said its earnings beat was fueled by better-than-expected sales of Lipitor, nerve pain treatment Lyrica and its Enbrel drug for rheumatoid arthritis. It also cited declines in research spending, selling and administrative expenses, and costs of goods sold.

Pfizer in June said it planned to separate its animal health unit into a standalone company, allowing it to focus on its core pharmaceuticals business. On Tuesday Pfizer said it plans by mid-August to ask regulators to approve a potential initial public offering of up to a 20-percent ownership stake in the new animal health business, to be called Zoetis.

Pfizer's animal health unit, with $4.2 billion in revenue last year, has more than 9,000 employees and sells medicines, vaccines and other products for livestock and pets.

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