Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Calls of Note Part 3

- Merrill Lynch comments on Pfizer's (NYSE:PFE) Lipitor script trends. Firm notes that 1) 1H07 could face a tough YOY comparison because the Lipitor TRxs (total prescriptions) were strong in 1H06, and 2) although Lipitor NRxs (new prescriptions) have not declined sequentially since October, they think the stabilization is temporary because managed care plans to make a bigger push for patients to start on generic Zocor in January. And the total scripts (TRxs) have still declined recently, and there is no sign of TRx stabilization.

Firm continues to model Lipitor U.S. sales down 5% in 2007 vs. management's projection for growth. Major swing factors include statin market growth and Lipitor net pricing.

Maintains Neutral.

Notablecalls: Looks like Merrill's David Risinger is going after PFE with vengeance after downgrading the stock to Neutral yesterday. Considering that Lipitor accounts for 40-45% of PFE's bottom line, any negative comments will likely further hurt the stock. Must say I was fairly surprised to see the stock go below $24 level in the pre market yesterday but the trade worked out after all. Now lets see if ML can move PFE lower.

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