Reading Pfizer's financial tea leaves

Want a peek at Pfizer ($PFE) in Wall Street's crystal ball? Forbes has crunched the numbers to give it to you. Distilling the estimates and prognostications offered by six firms, Matthew Herper comes up with a picture of Pfizer circa 2015. Blurry and wavering this picture might be--predictions always are, as Herper points out. But it's an idea nonetheless.

On average, analysts think Pfizer's 2015 sales will amount to $64.5 billion, with net income of $17.43 billion. That's a 5 percent and 3 percent decline, respectively. R&D spending is also expected to shrink, by a much larger proportion: 23 percent, to $7.2 billion. So, overall, Pfizer will lose some heft.

Meanwhile, take a look at product sales estimates. Lipitor is by far the biggest product Pfizer owns, with more than $17 billion in 2010 sales, but it goes off patent later this year. By 2015, the cholesterol drug is expected to bring in less than $3 billion and perhaps as little as $2.4 billion. But even at that level, it would remain one of Pfizer's top five products.

The big winner of 2015? Prevnar, the pneumococcal vaccine. With $5.6 billion, it's expected to top Pfizer's product sales. The arthritis med Enbrel comes in second with $3.9 billion. And the only pipeline drug expected to break the top five is tafocitinib, the experimental arthritis drug, with $1.4 billion.

- read the Forbes column

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