Pfizer has reported drops in both sales and earning for the second quarter of 2014, but its results managed to beat expectations after some strong performances by its top medicines.

Revenues for the period came in at $12.77 billion, slipping 2% from a year ago but overshooting the Wall Street forecast of $12.46 billion.

The drug giant's biggest seller, the pain drug Lyrica (pregabalin), continued to impress, booking sales of $1.32 billion and growth of 16%, while number two, the pneumococcal disease jab Prevnar, saw its turnover jump 13% to $969 million.

New cancer drugs Xalkori (critzotinib) and Inlyta (axitinib) also fared well, growing 61% to 108 million and 41% to $101 million respectively.

On the down side, sales of erectile dysfunction drug Viagra (sildenafil), which recently lost patent protection in Europe, dropped 12% to $427 million, while blood pressure drug Norvasc (amlodipine) fell 10% to $282 million.

80% plunge in income

The firm saw a near 80% plunge in net income to $2.91 billion, though this was largely because results for the second quarter of last year were swelled - by more than $10 billion - by the spin off of its animal health business.

Adjusted for special items, income was down 6% at $3.76 billion, while earnings per share grew 4% to $0.58.

Pfizer chief executive Ian Read said he is pleased with the firm's operating performance to date, and continues to see Pfizer "as well positioned to effectively execute on our strategy to further strengthen each of our businesses on a global basis and deliver value to all of our stakeholders".

Nevertheless, the firm is struggling to replace the sales lost to generic erosion, and is currently undergoing somewhat of a strategic transformation the exact nature of which remains murky. All eyes will now be on whether is makes another move on AstraZeneca, following its failed first attempt earlier this year.