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Why Pfizer Stock Slipped by 2% Today

Motley Fool - Thu May 25, 5:03PM CDT

What happened

On the surface, Pfizer(NYSE: PFE) had some good news to report on Thursday. But investors viewed the positive as a negative, in light of its timing. This wasn't helped by an analyst's price-target cut on the stock.

At the end of the trading session, Pfizer's share price had declined by over 2%, versus the nearly 1% rise of the S&P 500 index.

So what

The good news that few investors seemed impressed with had to do with Pfizer's COVID-19 drug Paxlovid. Thursday morning, the company announced that the treatment has been approved for use by adults with mild to moderate forms of the disease, and who are at high risk of progressing to severe forms.

Paxlovid has been on the market for some time; the Food and Drug Administration granted it Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) in December 2021. According to Pfizer, over 11.6 million treatment courses of the drug have been prescribed in this country.

While it is typically a positive development when a pharmaceutical or biotech company's medication wins full approval, there are two caveats here. First, with the EUA, Paxlovid had already been widely available, and second, we are no longer in the thick of the pandemic. It's likely that many investors, then, consider the Paxlovid approval to be a case of too little, too late.

Now what

Meanwhile, Berenberg analyst Kerry Holford reduced her price target on Pfizer stock before market open. She now thinks the shares are worth $35, down from the previous $40. She maintained her hold recommendation on the stock.

Despite these two developments, Pfizer remains worthy of consideration for anyone looking to own an anchor healthcare title. Its portfolio of commercialized products is wide and deep, as is its pipeline.

The company has also proved to be adept at finding strong partners. A notable success in this area is German biotech BioNTech, with which Pfizer co-developed the widely administered coronavirus vaccine Comirnaty.

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Eric Volkman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Pfizer. The Motley Fool recommends BioNTech. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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