Barron's and Pfizer: A lethal combination
TheStreet.com’s Marek Fuchs takes a look at Barron’s coverage of the recent news out of Pifzer, which included the halting of one of its major new drugs due to people dying during the trials, and comes away less than satisifed with the story.
Fuchs wrote, “Considering how many people died in the torcetrapib trials, I found the lead almost comically tasteless: ‘Patients and their doctors weren’t the only ones left heartbroken this weekend … investors, too.’
“But, hey, we’re talking business tactics here, not taste, so I was willing to give Barron’s a one-time pass, especially after getting caught up in the excitement of this next line: ‘Yet investors have a chance to turn Pfizer’s flop into a hit for their portfolios.’
“Do tell, do tell! And that, unfortunately, is where Barron’s told. ‘Investors with a little patience may embrace Pfizer as a value play, assuming the company accelerates cost cuts, hikes its dividend and [my emphasis] cuts more deals with other drug makers to fill the gap in its pipeline created by torcetrapib’s demise.’
“Let’s graciously overlook the fact that it is not always so easy to cut thousands of jobs while you are simultaneously hiking a dividend beyond tomorrow. There is something almost magical about the uselessness of the following line, that all they have to do is make some deals to make up for torcetrapib. Oh, is that all?”
Later, he wrote, “That’s a little like telling a young man that all he needs to do to live a happy life is partner with a good-tempered, supremely attractive and brilliant person, and make a lot of money in a field that he loves that also allows him to take Fridays off. Really, that’s all.”
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