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February 13, 2005
I have company, naturally, in my views on Pfizer's prospects. Here's a story from the AP which does a good job wrapping all the doubts up into one package. But you can't please everyone: I notice people over on the Pfizer discussion board on Yahoo, moaning about "Why does the AP hate Pfizer?" (Why else, in their worldview, would anyone say such things?) The usual stock-board answers are trotted out - it's the "shorts," don't you know, and the evil money managers who want your shares cheap. Makes you wonder when we're going to root all those people out, so stocks will have no choice but to rise forever, doesn't it? Oh, speed the day when there are no cheap stocks!
So much for the amateurs - how about the professionals? I should try to do a chart of the sorts of quotes we're seeing now versus the ones from the days when Pfizer's stock was higher and they were an Unstoppable Behemoth. (I've been saying the same nasty stuff all along, but I don't get paid.)
Now, it's true that I work for one of Pfizer's competitors, and you should take that into account. (I don't own any Pfizer shares or have any options positions, though, nor am I short, although that wouldn't have been a bad idea.) No, I've managed to say nice things about some other companies that are also out to eat my lunch - it's just that Pfizer's style and strategy are just the opposite of what I think a drug company's should be. They have good people there, and they have some interesting things in their pipeline, and neither of those are going to be enough.
We should face up to it: it's possible for a Big Pharma to get too big, at least if they're going to go around promising double-digit growth to all comers. I'm not sure just when you cross that line, but I feel pretty safe in saying that Pfizer is on the other side of it.
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