Pfizer, Inc. (NYSE:PFE) was the recipient of a large increase in short interest in the month of October. As of October 13th, there was short interest totalling 58,325,639 shares, an increase of 19.0% from the September 29th total of 48,999,272 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 12,050,045 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 4.8 days. Approximately 1.0% of the shares of the stock are sold short.

Several analysts recently weighed in on the company. J P Morgan Chase & Co set a $39.00 price objective on Pfizer and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday. Jefferies Group LLC set a $39.00 price objective on Pfizer and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) set a $36.00 price objective on Pfizer and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday. UBS AG set a $38.00 price objective on Pfizer and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday. Finally, Berenberg Bank set a $36.00 price objective on Pfizer and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Tuesday. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and thirteen have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $38.35.

Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 31st. The biopharmaceutical company reported $0.67 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.65 by $0.02. Pfizer had a return on equity of 25.67% and a net margin of 18.69%. The firm had revenue of $13.17 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $13.17 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.61 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up .9% compared to the same quarter last year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 1st. Stockholders of record on Friday, November 10th will be paid a $0.32 dividend. This represents a $1.28 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.61%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, November 9th. Pfizer’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 79.01%.

In other news, CEO Ian C. Read sold 197,168 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $34.00, for a total transaction of $6,703,712.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 580,318 shares in the company, valued at approximately $19,730,812. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Alexander R. Mackenzie sold 7,350 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, October 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $35.65, for a total value of $262,027.50. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 117,432 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,186,450.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 389,621 shares of company stock valued at $13,298,598. Corporate insiders own 0.06% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in PFE. Janus Henderson Group PLC lifted its stake in shares of Pfizer by 243.5% in the 2nd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 13,175,187 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $442,574,000 after acquiring an additional 9,339,749 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Pfizer by 2.3% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 418,639,111 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $14,062,088,000 after acquiring an additional 9,239,499 shares during the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC bought a new stake in shares of Pfizer in the 2nd quarter valued at about $268,389,000. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board lifted its stake in shares of Pfizer by 249.6% in the 2nd quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 10,713,626 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $359,871,000 after acquiring an additional 7,649,416 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Longview Partners Guernsey LTD lifted its stake in shares of Pfizer by 32.0% in the 3rd quarter. Longview Partners Guernsey LTD now owns 24,369,672 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $869,997,000 after acquiring an additional 5,901,100 shares during the last quarter. 69.01% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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Pfizer Company Profile

Pfizer Inc (Pfizer) is a research-based global biopharmaceutical company. The Company is engaged in the discovery, development and manufacture of healthcare products. Its global portfolio includes medicines and vaccines, as well as consumer healthcare products. The Company manages its commercial operations through two business segments: Pfizer Innovative Health (IH) and Pfizer Essential Health (EH).

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