Kindler takes lumps after investor call

Poor Jeff Kindler (photo). The Pfizer CEO has finally done what analysts have wanted him to do for months and months: He made a big bold move, agreeing to buy Wyeth for more than $60 billion. But investors and pharma-watchers are still carping.

After a conference call earlier this week, commentators at Seeking Alpha allowed that Pfizer is a strong company whose stock looks "dirt cheap" at $14 per share, and that Pfizer seems likely to outperform the broader market. But, they said, "[W]e were not very impressed by CEO Jeff Kndler and CFO Frank D'Amelio's performance on" Kindler and Co. were spouting business-school-speak, and their comments were too vague for comfort. "Nothing the executives said convinced us that the Wyeth deal with grow per-share shareholder value," they said.

Still, some interesting nuggets in that investor call, reported by The Day: Kindler said the Wyeth deal "changes the mix so we're not as dependent on a blockbuster-focused model." Strangely, Kindler followed that up by saying that the company had been too reliant "on research relative to its ability to deliver." What might this mean for Pfizer R&D? The only specifics came in the form of a promise that Wyeth's research staff will be melded with Pfizer's faster than with previous acquisitions. He's aiming to prevent the R&D snafus of the two other megamergers this decade, which dragged on research for years. We'll see how he fares.

- read the Seeking Alpha column
- see the story in The Day

ALSO: Pfizer stopped a late-stage study of the cancer drug Sutent to treat a form of advanced breast cancer but will continue examining the kidney-and-gastrointestinal cancer treatment in several other mid- and late-stage trials for breast disease. Report

ALSO: A lawyer representing Nigeria in multibillion dollar lawsuits against Pfizer said his clients would seriously consider a $75 million settlement, but that no official offer had yet been made by the company. Report

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