Daily Management Review

Higher Tax Margin Rate Disappoints Pfizer’s Investors


‘New tax rate’ of Pfizer exceeds investors’ expectations and pulls down its shares.

Pfizer Inc reported that the company is expected to make an adjusted tax payment of “about 17 percent this year”, whereby putting the tax margin “higher” than some of the investors’ expectation. As a result, the company’s shares on Tuesday 30 January 2018, came tumbling down by over 3%.
According to Reuters:
“Shares of the largest U.S. drugmaker jumped last Friday after rival AbbVie Inc (ABBV.N) projected a new adjusted tax rate of just 9 percent and rose to their highest level since 2002 on Monday on hopes that Pfizer might benefit to a similar extent”.
Following the revelation of the three companies, namely Amazon.com Inc, Berkshire Hathaway Inc, and JPMorgan Chase & Co, that the trio would be creating a “healthcare company” with the aim of reducing costs for employees in the U.S., Pfizer’s stock saw a broad fall on Tuesday, January 30, 2018.
Talking about the “new tax rate”, the analyst of SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, John Boris, remarked:
“What you’re getting is a selloff based on people anticipating it was going to be lower”.
Companies across the board in the U.S. have a profit filled year since the “tax overhaul” was “signed into law in late December” which cut down corporate price “21 percent from 35 percent”, while many companies have made “lower adjusted rates” forecast. Pfizer, however, expects the 17% rate to “be sustainable”. The chief executive officer of the company, Ian Read sought to bring in an influence of reducing “U.S. corporate taxes” while two times “large deals” had to be “thwarted” for Pfizer to evade from “European tax rules”.
Given the “low tax rates” that have newly come out, Read does not feel any pressure of carrying out “immediate deals”. However, he is open to “acquisitions large and small under the right circumstances”. There are expectations that Pfizer could give out bids for “its consumer health business” with an approximate value of “$20 billion”.
Although, how everything plays out is yet to be seen, Read also added that
“However, it wouldn’t stop us from moving quickly if we saw an opportunity.”
Read also information that the pressure on prices of medicine continues to build, Pfizer would be open to “major deals”, while there is “a sense of urgency” to increase “earnings per share growth”.
According to Reuters:
“The company forecast 2018 profit well ahead of Wall Street estimates and increased its dividend to 34 cents a share. Combined with share buybacks, that will return more than $13 billion to shareholders, Chief Financial Officer Frank D‘Amelio said”.
“Pfizer shares fell $1.37 to $37.65”.

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