Pfizer at 10-year support: Is it a massive buy opportunity?

Pfizer logo on the side of a building

For shareholders of the multinational biotech giant Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE), it might feel like the stock's all-time highs set during the pandemic were centuries ago. After making its COVID-19-related all-time high in late 2021, the stock turned lower and has since been in a steep downtrend, declining by more than 50% from the 2021 high.

The steady decline played out as the world emerged from the pandemic, and several biotech companies grappled with the decreasing demand for their COVID-related products. However, in its latest earnings report, the company reported an earnings beat as its declining COVID business lost less than expected.

So the question now beckons: Could this steep, steady selloff present an opportunity to pick up shares of PFE on the cheap as its stock approaches 10-year support near $26?

Pfizer tops estimates, navigates headwinds

Pfizer delivered an unexpected fourth-quarter profit despite a dip in COVID-19-related revenue, showcasing resilience amid shifting market dynamics. The return of fewer Paxlovid doses than initially estimated was a notable factor contributing to this surprising outcome, indicating a potential uptick in Paxlovid usage. 

Although revenue from Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine decreased by 53% compared to the previous year, it still generated $5.36 billion in sales, surpassing analysts' expectations of $4.99 billion.

Pfizer saw encouraging growth in its product portfolio. Revenue from its RSV vaccine, Abrysvo, reached $515 million for the quarter, while drugs like Vyndaqel and Eliquis performed well, with sales figures of $961 million and $1.61 billion, respectively. However, sales of pneumococcal pneumonia shots fell short of expectations at $1.60 billion, indicating challenges in that segment.

Despite these mixed results, Pfizer's overall revenue for the fourth quarter stood at $14.25 billion, down 41% from last year. Adjusted earnings per share for the quarter were 10 cents, surpassing analysts' expectations of a loss of 22 cents per share. However, the decline in COVID-19 product sales was significant, with revenue from Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine and Paxlovid dropping by 78% from their peak in 2022 to $12.5 billion in 2023.

Amidst these challenges, Pfizer's acquisition of Seagen for $43 billion in the fourth quarter aims to revitalize investor confidence. The merger should double Pfizer's oncology research capabilities and bolster its revenue growth. Nonetheless, with Pfizer's stock already down over 4% year-to-date and skepticism lingering about its ability to navigate market headwinds, the company faces a critical juncture in its efforts to sustain growth and innovation.

Lofty price target and attractive dividend

While the stock has a "hold" rating, a rating it has held for over a year, its current price target forecasts an impressive upside. Based on fifteen analyst ratings, PFE has a consensus price target of $36.93, forecasting a 34% upside. Most recently, analysts at Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated its rating on PFE and a price target of $45, which sees an upside of over 64% for the stock.

The stock offers a significant dividend yield of 6.11% and an attractive price target. Pfizer has a 12.89% annualized three-year dividend growth and a fourteen-year dividend increase track record. Its next dividend payment is March 1.

Bullish institutional and insider activity

Favorable or net positive institutional and insider buying could signal confidence in the company's prospects and indicate undervaluation, which investors may interpret as bullish.

Over the previous twelve months, total institutional inflows have been $98.12 billion compared to just $11.03 billion in outflows. During the same period, two insiders purchased stock totaling $5.16 million. No insider sales occurred during the period.

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