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Pfizer: Safer - if not greater - growth

Pfizer Inc., which for some time has promised to file 15 new NDAs in the next five years, has raised that goal to "20 in 5" following last week's announcement that it plans to acquire Pharmacia Corp.

But PFE did not raise its previously stated 16% EPS growth target for the 2002-2004 period. Instead it gave guidance that the combined entity would have slightly lower growth in revenues and increased net profits. The implication is two-fold: the benefits of the acquisition come from one-time cost-cutting, and the company will need the five additional NDAs to maintain the same growth rate off a larger base.

PFE positioned the deal as one that reduces risk in a time of "irrational gloom" by creating a company of increased size, diversification and marketing power. Management implied that such a strategy is mandated by

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