Hurricane Sandy blows back Pfizer, Vertex earnings

Hurricane Sandy hasn't just shut down stock markets and forced evacuations. The powerful storm is shutting down some pharma earnings announcements, too.

Pfizer's ($PFE) New York headquarters, hobbled by transit shutdowns, won't release earnings till Thursday, rather than Tuesday, as planned. Analysts are expecting big year-over-year declines in earnings and sales--EPS of 53 cents, down from 62 cents; $14.6 billion in revenue, down from $17.3 billion--and no wonder. This is the last full-quarter comparison with the pregeneric Lipitor. Pfizer's best-seller, the cholesterol drug fell off patent at the end of last November.

And Vertex Pharmaceuticals ($VRTX), which had planned to release its third-quarter results today, will now report on Thursday, after the markets close. The Cambridge, MA-based company's first drug--the hepatitis C fighter Incivek--hit the market last year with a bang, but now, as The Street points out, prescription numbers are weakening. Sales figures for Incivek, and for Vertex's newer drug for cystic fibrosis patients, Kalydeco, will be closely watched. The Street says analysts are expecting $57 million from Kalydeco and $270 million from Incivek.

Meanwhile, the much smaller Acorda Therapeutics ($ACOR) has postponed its announcement. Acorda will unveil its numbers--including the latest on sales of its multiple sclerosis drug Ampyra--on Wednesday morning.

- read the Vertex release
- check out the Acorda announcement
- see the Wall Street Journal story
- get more from The Street