Pfizer's Read gets small raise in tough year

CEO Ian Read

Last year was a tough one for Pfizer ($PFE), having to shoulder a full 12 months without the riches of Lipitor to rely on. Still, CEO Ian Read did the best he could with what he had to work with. And for that, he got a small raise, although nothing like the 44% upgrade he received a year ago. 

According to the company's proxy statement, Read's 2012 payout was $25.6 million, up 2.5% from the year before. The proxy says that 90% of his compensation was tied to company performance.

Read was given $1.7 million in salary, $6.4 million in stock awards, $6.5 million in options and a $3.4 million cash bonus, Dow Jones points out. His total compensation also includes a $7.1 million change in pension value and nonqualified deferred compensation earnings.

Pfizer results last year had some highlights, but most of that was overshadowed by the patent loss of Lipitor. Sales were down 10%, but it racked up a 46% increase in full-year profits. That was because Pfizer's sale of its nutrition business, which went to Nestle for $11.85 billion, pumped up reported net income to $14.57 billion. On an adjusted basis, Pfizer's 2012 profits dropped 8%. 

Of course, last year was Pfizer's first full year with generic competition for its biggest all-time seller, Lipitor. By itself, the cholesterol drug lost 59% of its worldwide sales, 81% in the U.S. From $9.577 billion in 2011, Lipitor dropped to $3.948 in 2012. Overall, pharma sales dropped 8.8%. But given the difficulties, Pfizer's board said Read's leadership and "investor driven viewpoint" were key to the company's results. 

Pfizer faces another challenging year but has some products it can focus on. It is looking to further cut costs in R&D and elsewhere while pushing key products like its pain drug Lyrica and its top vaccine Prevnar/Prevenar 13. It also recently got FDA approval for the anticoagulent Eliquis, which it believes holds great promise.   

- here's the proxy statement
- see the Dow Jones report (sub. req.)

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