Pfizer stock plummets as people turn away from Covid boosters

Pfizer's stock shot downwards more than 44 percent in 2023, coming as more than 80 percent of people eligible to get the booster shot this fall opted not to get it.

Pfizer's shares are plunging downwards to their worst performance in over a decade after the pharmaceutical giant put out a stark warning about its projected revenue as hysteria over the Covid-19 outbreak continues to wane.

Recent financial results and projections alike have not fared well for Pfizer; shares dropped 8 percent on Thursday morning, and the company has lost $140 billion in market cap this year alone. 

Pfizer projects that revenue could fall next year and has put out a 2024 guidance that is below analyst expectations, according to a new report by The Wall Street Journal.

As The Journal notes, such a warning brings grave concerns for Wall Street as to how Pfizer will be able to create new sources of sales growth. Such a situation sets up a hefty challenge for Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla to overcome.

While Bourla's Pfizer enjoyed a strong financial performance during the Covid-19 outbreak, with its Comirnaty shots and Paxlovid drugs bringing in tens of billions of dollars in sales, decreased interest has now stung the pharmaceutical giant. 

A new study by the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health published in October found that over 80% of the people who were eligible to receive Covid booster shots last fall chose not to get them. 

Pfizer is currently aiming for a 2024 revenue of $58.5 billion to $61.5 billion, which is under the $62.66 billion that analysts surveyed by FactSet had anticipated.

Chief Financial Officer David Denton delivered a warning to investors on Wednesday that although Pfizer does not think Covid-19 inoculation rates will be significantly different in 2024 as compared to the prior year, it is important to lower expectations.

“We want to be conservative, and we are giving a good floor and we want to be reliable so that we will not create again uncertainty, which was the case this year when our estimates were way higher,” Bourla said.

Pfizer has announced numerous upcoming layoffs in recent months, and its stock shot downwards more than 44% this year, all before its 2024 guidance. 
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