US drug giant Pfizer has beaten expectations for revenue and earnings in the first quarter of 2016.
The Viagra drug maker has posted revenue of $13.01bn (£8.87bn) ahead of expectations of $12.02bn and up from $10.86bn last year. Earnings came in at $0.67 per share, compared to estimates of $0.55, according to a Reuters analyst poll.
The 19.7 per cent rise in quarterly revenue was given a shot in the arm by sales of new treatments for cancer and its Hospira acquisition.
Shares in the company climbed by almost three per cent in the New York in pre-market trading, adding to a gain of 1.6 per cent so far in 2016. The shares are still trading down by almost four per cent over the past 12 months however.
In comparison rival Novartis has dropped almost 11 per cent so far this year and is down by over 25 per cent in the last 12 months.
Ian Read, chairman and chief executive officer, said:
We began the year with very strong operational performance across both our Innovative and Established businesses and this has served as a key driver of an increase in both our revenue and earnings per share guidance for the remainder of the year.
In addition, our late stage product pipeline is increasingly ready to deliver our next set of prospective growth drivers with competitive positions in high-potential therapeutic areas where I believe Pfizer can be a leader.
Last month the US treasury brought in new restrictions on corporate inversions preventing Pfizer and Allergan from completing a $150bn deal that would have moved the company's headquarters from the US to Ireland in search of a better tax rate.
The collapse of the deal, what would have been the largest pharma merger in history, has stoked fears that last year’s M&A bonanza is coming to an end.
Both companies blamed the US Treasury directly for the deal's collapse, with Allergan saying the tie-up had been specifically targeted by new tax inversion rules.
At the end of last month Pfizer rival AstraZeneca posted a profit drop after company ramped up its spending on research and development to counter upcoming expiring patents.
Now listen: City A.M. Unregulated: Episode 1 – Pfizer and Allergan and London vs New York