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Fitch Downgrades Pfizer Ahead Of Lipitor Patent Loss

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Fitch downgraded Pfizer's long-term issue default rating to A+ from AA- in anticipation of revenue pressures as the company continues to pay off its 2009 acquisition of Wyeth. The credit rating service has paid down $7.6bn in debt in the past two years, leaving $41.7bn remaining.

Fitch acknowledges the company "has shown some financial discipline by reducing the debt load". But as Lipitor loses patent protection in November "Fitch is most concerned with Pfizer's ability to further moderate costs during the height of its patent cliff".

Michael Zbinovec, a Fitch analyst, said: “Pfizer’s ability to pay its debt obligation is somewhat constrained. But the new rating should be good for the next year and a half even with the acceleration in patent expirations that will affect Pfizer.

So just how much of a short term view do the rating agencies actually take? So the current review is good for 18 months in which time the companies revenue position is likely to get worse?

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  • 439 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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