Pfizer has booked sales of $14 billion for the fourth quarter, marking a rise of 7% over the year-ago period, as operational growth of 14% was reigned in by currency exchange rate effects. 

Revenue was given a boost by strong performances from several key products, most notably: pneumonia jab Prevnar 13 in adults; breast cancer drug Ibrance (palbociclib); bloodthinner Eliquis (apixaban); rheumatoid arthritis drug Xeljanz (tofacitinib); and Lyrica (pregabalin), for epilepsy, fibromyalgia and neuropathic pain.

On the down side, operational revenue growth was partially offset by the loss of exclusivity and associated generic competition for the COX-2 inhibitor Celebrex (celecoxib) in the US and certain other developed markets, Lyrica in certain developed Europe markets and the antibiotic Zyvox (linezolid) in the US.

All-in-all, Pfizer reported a net income of $613 million for the quarter, or $0.10 a share (EPS), down 50% from $1.3 billion, or $0.19 a share, for the year-ago period, as the result took a big hit from a $491-million pension settlement charges as well as other factors such as currency effects and acquisition-related costs and charges.

Excluding special items, adjusted earnings were came in at $0.53 a share, just beating the forecast from analysts polled by Thomson Reuters of $0.52 a share, according to the Wall Street Journal. 

On the downside, the drug giant has rather lukewarm expectations for full-year 2016, predicting EPS of $2.20 to $2.30, excluding special items, which falls substantially under analyst forecasts averaging at $2.36. Similarly, the drugmaker is coming in lower with its sales expectations, at $49-$51 billion versus $52.5 billion, respectively.

Pulls plug on Alzheimer’s candidate

Meanwhile, it also emerged that Pfizer, which is gearing up to buy Allergan for $160 billion, has pulled the plug on a mid-stage candidate for Alzheimer’s disease.

A Phase II study of PF-05212377 was terminated back in October after an independent data monitoring committee concluded that it would not offer any benefit to patients with mild to moderate forms of the condition.

The news sent Axovant’s shares into a downward spiral given that its own experimental Alzheimer’s candidate, RVT-101,  targets the same receptor as Pfizer’s failed drug.