Can Pfizer Continue to Trend Higher?

With shares of Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) trading around $31, is PFE an OUTPERFORM, WAIT AND SEE or STAY AWAY? Let’s analyze the stock with the relevant sections of our CHEAT SHEET investing framework:

T = Trends for a Stock’s Movement

Pfizer is a biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops, manufactures, and sells medicines for people and animals worldwide. The company manages its operations through five segments: Primary Care, Specialty Care and Oncology, Established Products and Emerging Markets, Animal Health and Consumer Healthcare, and Nutrition. Pfizer’s main products include human and animal biologic and small molecule medicines, as well as vaccines, nutritional products, consumer healthcare products, and products for the prevention and treatment of diseases in livestock and companion animals.

Pfizer reported its quarter three earnings that left investors pleased. Ian Read, Chair and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “Overall, I am very pleased with our continued and steady progress, on many fronts, to drive greater value for our shareholders. We continue to generate solid financial results on an operational basis, despite the impact of product losses of exclusivity and the ongoing expiration of the Spiriva collaboration in certain countries as well as the challenging operating environment. Within our innovative businesses, during third-quarter 2013, revenues from our Oncology business increased 26 percent operationally due to the continued strong performance of new products, primarily Inlyta and Xalkori in several major markets.”

T = Technicals on the Stock Chart are Strong

Pfizer stock has been moving higher in the last couple of years. The stock is currently rising and looks set to continue. Analyzing the price trend and its strength can be done using key simple moving averages. What are the key moving averages? The 50-day (pink), 100-day (blue), and 200-day (yellow) simple moving averages. As seen in the daily price chart below, Pfizer is trading above its rising key averages, which signal neutral to bullish price action in the near-term.

PFE

(Source: Thinkorswim)

Taking a look at the implied volatility (red) and implied volatility skew levels of Pfizer options may help determine if investors are bullish, neutral, or bearish.

Implied Volatility (IV)

30-Day IV Percentile

90-Day IV Percentile

Pfizer Options

17.27%

20%

18%

What does this mean? This means that investors or traders are buying a minimal amount of call and put options contracts as compared to the last 30 and 90 trading days.

Put IV Skew

Call IV Skew

November Options

Flat

Average

December Options

Flat

Average

As of today, there is an average demand from call buyers or sellers and low demand by put buyers or high demand by put sellers, all neutral to bullish over the next two months. To summarize, investors are buying a minimal amount of call and put option contracts and are leaning neutral to bullish over the next two months.

On the next page, let’s take a look at the earnings and revenue growth rates and the conclusion.

E = Earnings Are Mixed Quarter-Over-Quarter

Rising stock prices are often strongly correlated with rising earnings and revenue growth rates. Also, the last four quarterly earnings announcement reactions help gauge investor sentiment on Pfizer’s stock. What do the last four quarterly earnings and revenue growth (Y-O-Y) figures for Pfizer look like and more importantly, how did the markets like these numbers?

2013 Q3

2013 Q2

2013 Q1

2012 Q4

Earnings Growth (Y-O-Y)

-9.30%

360.50%

58.33%

358.00%

Revenue Growth (Y-O-Y)

-2.39%

-7.12%

-9.30%

-6.65%

Earnings Reaction

1.56%*

0.44%

-4.46%

3.20%

Pfizer has seen increasing earnings and decreasing revenue figures over the last four quarters. From these numbers, the markets have had mixed feelings about Pfizer’s recent earnings announcements.

* As of this writing

P = Excellent Relative Performance Versus Peers and Sector

How has Pfizer stock done relative to its peers, Merck (NYSE:MRK), Novartis (NYSE:NVS), Sanofi (NYSE:SNY), and sector?

Pfizer

Merck

Novartis

Sanofi

Sector

Year-to-Date Return

24.56%

11.16%

25.07%

10.03%

18.70%

Pfizer has been a relative performance leader, year-to-date.

Conclusion

Pfizer discovers and develops medicines for people and animals around the world. Recent earnings have left investors pleased with the company. The stock has been trending higher in recent years and is currently rising looking set to continue. Over the last four quarters, earnings have been increasing while revenues have been decreasing, which has produced conflicting feelings among investors about recent earnings announcements. Relative to its peers and sector, Pfizer has been an excellent performance leader year-to-date. Look  for Pfizer to OUTPERFORM.

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