Pfizer has reported a huge rise in earnings for the fourth quarter, thanks to the contribution of recently-acquired Wyeth, though analysts are disappointed with the drug giant’s 2010 forecasts.

Net profit almost tripled to $767 million, while turnover came in at $16.54 billion, an increase of 34%. Biopharmaceutical sales leapt 30% to $14.61 billion.

Revenues from the cholesterol blockbuster Lipitor (atorvastatin) edged up 1% to $3.18 billion, though US sales fell 6% to $1.52 billion, hit by competition from other statins, notably the generic version of Merck & Co’s Zocor (simvastatin). Generic competition hurt the blood pressure treatment Norvasc (amlodipine), which fell 10% to $486 million, while sales of the smoking cessation drug Chantix/Champix (varenicline) slipped 2% to $176 million, amid continuing safety concerns.

On the positive side, sales of Lyrica (pregabalin), for epilepsy, fibromyalgia and neuropathic pain, climbed 17% to $820 million, while the kidney cancer treatment Sutent (sunitinib) jumped 33%% to $293 million. The COX-2 inhibitor Celebrex (celecoxib) inched up 1% to $669 million and the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra (sildenafil) brought in $549 million, up 9%, while the glaucoma drug Xalatan (latanoprost) had sales of $499 million (+10%).

The figures were boosted by a number of Wyeth products, notably the antidepressant Effexor (venlafaxine), which contributed $520 million, the pneumococcal disease vaccine Prevnar ($287 million) and the arthritis and psoriasis therapy Enbrel (etanercept; $378 million outside North America).

Wyeth’s antibiotic Zosyn/Tazocin (piperacillin/tazobactam) brought in $184 million, while the Premarin (conjugated oestrogens) range of hormone replacement therapies contributed $213 million to Pfizer’s coffers. The new ‘diversified’ division, which includes animal and consumer health products, plus nutritional items and capsules for drugs made by Wyeth, saw revenues climb 83% to $1.81 billion,

Chief executive Jeffrey Kindler said the company is pleased with “the rapid pace of the integration and our ability to quickly realise the benefits of our combined organisation.” He added that Pfizer had delivered a “solid operational performance”, claiming that its “more diverse in-line product and pipeline portfolio” should result in “improved opportunities for the company in 2010 and beyond”.

However, the company’s forecasts have caused concern. The New York-based behemoth expects earnings per share in 2010 of $2.10-$2.20 per share, well below analysts’ estimates, on revenues of $67-$69 billion. More impressively, Pfizer also provided an EPS forecast for 2012, the year after Lipitor loses patent protection, of $2.25-$2.35 and estimated revenues of $66-$68.5 billion.

Still analysts were a bit disappointed with the figures but in an investor note, Les Funtleyder at Miller Tabak noted that “we think half a quarter is not enough time to judge the success” of the new Pfizer.