Photo: Dan Kitwood/WPA Pool/Getty Images
By Laura Lorenzetti
July 29, 2014

Pfizer, the pharmaceutical company that failed to acquire UK-based AstraZeneca earlier this year, reported second-quarter earnings that beat analyst estimates even as worldwide sales declined.

Pfizer (PFE) reported earnings of 58 cents a share, excluding one-time items, beating the average analyst estimate by one cent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Sales at the drug maker dropped 2% to $12.8 billion, the company said Tuesday.

The company has struggled to boost sales as some of its popular drugs, such as Viagra, lose patent protection and its newer drugs fail to make up for the lost revenue. Viagra has lost most of its European patent protection. As a result, sales of the erectile dysfunction drug dropped 28% outside the U.S.

The sales drop has been partially offset by increased revenues from pain pill Lyrica, which was up 16% year-over-year to $1.32 billion, and pneumococcal vaccine Prevnar, which was up 13% to $969 million.

“I am pleased with our operating performance to date,” Ian Read, Pfizer’s CEO, said in a statement. “Our recently launched products continued to gain traction during the quarter while our mid- and late-stage pipeline continued to progress.”

Read has been trying to transform Pfizer into one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, and its $117 billion offer for AstraZeneca (AZN) was a bid to make that happen. The deal would have also reduced Pfizer’s tax bill by relocating its headquarters in the U.K., where corporate taxes are less than the U.S.’s 35% rate.

The dealmaking isn’t off the table. Pfizer and AstraZeneca could start talking again as soon as next month if AstraZeneca opens the discussion, or if not that soon, then in November when the UK-mandated waiting period ends.

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