Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) Tries to Dodge $35bn in Taxes, Analysts Bullish


Pfizer Inc. is aiming to dodge about $35bn in taxes. This will happen as a result of the planned merger with Allergan. Allergan is based in Ireland and that is where Pfizer is wanting to move its headquarters. Currently Pfizer is based in New York. US-based labor and consumer groups are up in arms over this move. They claim that this will result in a big loss of revenue to the US government which runs on the money provided by taxpayers like them.


Pfizer Inc. Finally Seems on Track for Corporate Tax Inversion

Pfizer Inc. ‘s obsession with lowering its payable taxes is not new. The activist group ‘Americans for Tax Fairness’ has said in a new report that the firm would enjoy lower tax rates in Ireland while still being able to take advantage of having operations in the US market. The $160bn deal with Botox-manufacturer Allergan was announced in November and has shaken up a storm in the pharma industry.

It may be noted that Pfizer’s return on investment is 8.40%. During the last month, the stock has appreciated by just 0.74%. In fact, the year-to-date performance stands at -4.28%. On Thursday, shares of Pfizer had opened at $30.10. They rose 1.90% to close at $30.59. However, as of the time of writing, the stock is trading more than 1% lower.

In a separate development, Pfizer also announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted approval to its Xeljanz XR (tofacitinib citrate) extended-release 11 mg tablets. These tablets are meant for the treatment of moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in case of those patients for whom methotrexate (MTX) is not effective. The tablets are meant to be taken once daily. This is the only known oral treatment for RA of its kind, also known as a Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor.

Analysts are Bullish on Pfizer

In spite of having taken a beating so far in CY2016, the last week in particular saw Pfizer Inc. rising by 3.52%. Pfizer’s last earnings release happened earlier this month on February 2, followed by an earnings call. Since then, it seems most analysts are recommending on buying Pfizer shares.

For instance, the very next day after the earnings were released, analysts at BMO Capital Markets and Sanford C. Bernstein each rated the stock as ‘outperform’. They were accompanied by analysts at Deutsche bank who rated the stock as a ‘buy’. Soon, on February 9, analysts at Bank of America Merill Lynch too rated the stock as a ‘buy’. And recently on February 22, analysts at Jefferies followed suit. These 5 ratings are accompanied by price targets that vary between $36 and $45. In fact, the price target of $36 was set by analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein on the very next day after the earnings were announced, whereas the one of $45 is the most recent one set on February 22 by the analysts at Jefferies.

Owing to the restructuring at the top which shall become effective after the merger, it remains to be seen as to how does this fare for Pfizer as a business. This acquisition will result in Pfizer becoming the world’s biggest drug maker. The stock already seems to be in huge demand from institutional investors.

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