Pfizer loses AAA debt rating

Scrub the gilt edge off those bonds. Fitch Ratings ripped the AAA rating off Pfizer's debt, citing the drug maker's "maturing" drug portfolio and its thinly populated pipeline. The downgrade applies to senior unsecured debt and bank loans. Fitch also lowered the company's credit rating to "negative" from "stable," a change that affects $8.7 billion in debt.

"The company's late-stage program is thin compared to its peers and is not expected to fully replace potential losses from looming patent expires in 2011-2012," the ratings company said. And which expiration looms largest? Lipitor, of course. That drug will lose its final patent protection by 2012--and it represents 26 percent of the company's revenue.

- see the statement from Fitch Ratings
- read the report from MarketWatch

ALSO: Take a look at Pfizer's pipeline. Report

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Moody's downgrades pharma industry. Report
Say goodbye to Big Pharma's gilded age. Report
Pfizer goes public with R&D pipeline. Report
Pfizer's future rests with biotech. Report

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