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Buy Pfizer Stock Because Its Covid Pill Will Be a Big Seller, UBS Says

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Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla

Sakis Mitrolidis/AFP via Getty Images

Shares of


Pfizer

were upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS, with the firm writing that it expects antiviral pill Paxlovid to reach sales of at least $14 billion next year, or 40% above Wall Street expectations.

UBS analyst Colin Bristow, in a research note Monday, also boosted the price target on the stock to $60 from $52.

Pfizer (ticker: PFE) shares rose 2.5% to $54.10. The company announced Monday it was acquiring


Arena Pharmaceuticals

for $100 a share, or $6.7 billion.

The rating from UBS was issued before the acquisition was announced.

Bristow wrote how Pfizer’s Covid franchise — Paxlovid and Cominarty, the company’s Covid-19 vaccine — has peak sales potential in 2022 of $50 billion.

UBS estimates that the Covid sales will drive Pfizer’s earnings in 2022 to $5.71 a share.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet expect 2022 earnings at Pfizer of $5.47 a share.

It was announced last month that the U.S. government had agreed to buy 10 million treatment courses of Pfizer’s Paxlovid pill in a $5.29 billion deal.

Pfizer has asked the Food and Drug Administration to authorize the experimental pill. The pill reduced the risk of hospitalization among 1,219 high-risk patients by almost 90% in advanced clinical trials. The trial recorded no deaths among people who took the treatment.

Write to Joe Woelfel at joseph.woelfel@barrons.com

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