Hospira boosts Pfizer earnings but still struggles with recalls

Pfizer headquarters
Pfizer headquarters

Hospira helped Pfizer ($PFE) blow past analyst estimates for its Q1 revenues which it reported today. But the sterile injectable specialist continues to stumble in manufacturing and is in the midst of recalling more than 120,000 bags of products that it says may have been contaminated.  

Hospira has been recalling the products for weeks, but the FDA just last week got the 6 recalls classified as Class II. According to the FDA Enforcement Report, Hospira is recalling 16,176 bags of dextrose injection, 1,776 bags of amino acids, 22,291 bags of mannitol and 81,888 bags of potassium chloride. Pfizer reported that all 6 lots of products may have been contaminated with an aromatic hydrocarbon resin.

According to the notices, the products were all distributed throughout the U.S. and in Singapore.

Pfizer last year bought Hospira for $15 billion to expand its presence in generic sterile injectables. And that acquisition has helped its improve its bottom line. The company today reported it earned $0.67 per share, excluding special items, much higher than the $0.55 per share that analysts predicted, Reuters reports. Sales of generics, which would include Hospira, were up 17% to $5.97 billion. Hospira contributed $1.2 billion, the company said.

Hospira has had a history of regulatory issues, with warning letters for plants in the U.S., India and Italy, and has had a very long list of product recalls over the years. But in the two years leading up to its sale to Pfizer, the company made great strides in getting its production problems under control.

- access the recalls here
here’s the earnings release
more from Reuters

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