Pfizer 3Q profit down 70 percent due to charges

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Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. said Tuesday that revenue in the third quarter jumped 39 percent due to its acquisition of fellow drugmaker Wyeth, but hefty charges related to that $68 billion purchase dragged its profit down 70 percent.

The New York-based maker of cholesterol blockbuster Lipitor and impotence pill Viagra says net income was $866 million, or 11 cents per share. That’s down from $2.88 billion, or 43 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, net income would have been $4.37 billion, or 54 cents per share. That topped Wall Street expectations by 3 cents.

One-time items included $1.48 billion for asset writedowns related to buying Wyeth and $499 million in restructuring, plus a $701 million charge for asbestos litigation related to a Pfizer subsidiary, Quigley Co.

Revenue came up short of that mark at $16.17 billion. Analysts were expecting, on average, revenue of $16.68 billion. But that was up from $11.62 billion in the third quarter of 2009.

Pfizer raised its 2010 profit forecast, to a range of $2.17 to $2.22 per share, from the prior guidance of $2.10 to $2.20 per share. Analyst expect $2.22 per share.

Noting it’s been just over a year since the Wyeth deal closed, Pfizer Chief Executive Jeffrey Kindler said in a statement, “I am particularly pleased with the speed of the integration, the cost synergies achieved to date as well as our solid financial performance this quarter and year to date in this difficult economic environment. This combination clearly creates value for our shareholders.”

In premarket trading, Pfizer shares changed hands at $17.53, down 9 cents from Monday’s close of $17.62.