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11 Mar 2009
Approximately $17 billion in rated Pfizer debt affected
New York, March 11, 2009 -- Moody's Investors Service lowered the long-term ratings of
Pfizer Inc. ("Pfizer") to Aa2 from Aa1, and left
the Aa2 ratings under review for possible downgrade. At the same
time, Moody's affirmed Pfizer's Prime-1 short-term
rating. This rating action reflects some deterioration in Pfizer's
stand-alone credit quality based primarily on the approaching Lipitor
patent expiration. Moody's had already signaled this as a
credit risk factor prior to the Wyeth merger announcement (discussed below),
with a negative outlook on Pfizer's ratings since October 19,
Related to the pending Wyeth acquisition, Moody's placed Pfizer's
long-term ratings under review for possible downgrade on January
26, 2009 at the time of the announcement. Moody's continues
to anticipate that Pfizer's ratings will fall to A1 if the Wyeth
acquisition closes according to the agreed-upon terms, and
assuming that there are no significant and unforeseen changes in the credit
profile of either Pfizer or Wyeth.
The downgrade of Pfizer's long-term rating also reflects
Moody's view that Pfizer's stand-alone late-stage
pipeline is relatively weak, exacerbated by two recent Phase III
Offsetting positive factors include Pfizer's recent dividend reduction,
which will boost free cash flow, as well as the flexibility provided
by raising the effective tax rate. Although cash taxes will rise,
Pfizer will derive significantly more flexibility over time to access
its cash without facing additional tax consequences.
"Today's rating action reflects Pfizer's stand-alone
credit quality, which is no longer consistent with the Aa1 rating
based on Pfizer's high patent exposures and a relatively weak late-stage
pipeline," stated Michael Levesque, Moody's Senior
"There is no change in Moody's current opinion that the acquisition
of Wyeth will result in Pfizer's credit rating falling to A1,"
There is no change to the ratings of Wyeth (A3/Prime-2) or the
status of the rating review of Wyeth. Moody's placed Wyeth's
ratings under review for possible upgrade on January 26, 2009.
For additional information please refer to Moody's updated Credit
Opinion of Pfizer available on www.Moodys.com.
Ratings downgraded and left under review for possible further downgrade:
Senior notes, Eurobonds, medium term notes, industrial
revenue bonds, revolving credit facility and issuer rating to Aa2
Senior unsecured shelf registration to (P)Aa2 from (P)Aa1
Notes, medium term notes and industrial revenue bonds to Aa2 from
Pfizer Inc. -- Prime-1 commercial paper
Pfizer Investment Capital -- Prime-1 commercial paper
Moody's last rating action on Pfizer took place on January 26,
2009 when Moody's placed Pfizer's Aa1 long-term rating under
review for possible downgrade and affirmed Pfizer's Prime-1 short-term
The principal methodology used in rating Pfizer was Moody's Global Pharmaceutical
Rating Methodology, which can be found at www.moodys.com
in the Credit Policy & Methodologies directory, in the Ratings
Methodologies subdirectory. Other methodologies and factors that
may have been considered in the process of rating this issuer can also
be found in the Credit Policy & Methodologies directory.
Headquartered in New York, Pfizer Inc. [NYSE:
PFE] is a global pharmaceutical company that reported approximately $48.3
billion of revenues in 2008.
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service
Moody's lowers Pfizer to Aa2 from Aa1; rating review continues
Senior Vice President
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service
No Related Data.
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