How Does Pfizer’s Revenue And Other Key Metrics Compare With That of Merck?

by Trefis Team
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Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and Merck (NYSE:MRK) are both primarily engaged in the pharmaceutical business. Pfizer generated $54 billion sales in 2018, while Merck garnered $42 billion. For both the companies, revenue over the past few years has been impacted by oncology portfolios. While Pfizer’s Ibrance is boosting the company’s top line growth, Merck’s Keytruda is on a tear with sales expected to top $10 billion in 2019. In fact, Merck’s cancer drugs portfolio is bigger than Pfizer’s. Also, both the companies generate over 40% of their revenues from the U.S. When it comes to profitability, Pfizer beats Merck on gross profit, as well as adjusted net income. In this note we compare both the companies’ revenues and other key metrics. You can look at our interactive dashboard analysis ~ Pfizer vs. Merck: How Have Revenues & Other Key Metrics Changed Over Recent Years? ~ for more details.

Pfizer’s Revenues of $54 Billion Are Slightly Higher Than $42 Billion For Merck.

  • Pfizer’s revenues have largely hovered around $53 billion over the recent years, although they are expected to decline in the near term, given consumer healthcare divestiture. Look at our interactive dashboard analysis for more details on Pfizer’s revenues.
  • Merck’s revenues grew from $39.8 billion in 2016 to $42.3 billion in 2018, and it is estimated to be $46.8 billion in 2020, driven by higher Keytruda sales. Look at our analysis on Merck’s revenues for more details.

Merck’s Revenues Grew At A Higher Pace On Average When Compared To Pfizer

  • Pfizer hasn’t seen any significant revenue growth in the recent past, while Merck’s growth has accelerated over the recent years.
  • Pfizer’s revenue grew 1.6% between 2016 and 2018, while that of Merck grew 6.2%.
  • Looking forward, Pfizer could see a low single-digit decline in revenues, amid the consumer healthcare divestiture, while Merck’s sales growth is expected to slow down after a strong uptick from Keytruda in 2019, and expected increased competition from Opdivo in 2020.

US Accounts For Over 40% of The Total Sales For Both The Companies.

  • US accounted for 47% of total sales for Pfizer in 2018.
  • For Merck, the figure stood at 43% in 2018.

Merck’s Cancer Drugs Portfolio Is Larger Than That of Pfizer

Gross Profit Margin For Pfizer Is Better Than That For Merck.

  • Gross Profit Margin for Pfizer grew from 76.7% in 2016 to 79.0% in 2018.
  • Merck’s Gross Profit Margin grew from 65.1% in 2016 to 68.1% in 2018.
  • Look at our analysis on Pfizer and Merck’s expenses breakdown for more details.

Pfizer’s Adjusted Net Income Margin Has Been Trending Higher, And It Is Higher Than That of Merck.

  • Pfizer’s adjusted net income margin grew from 27.9% in 2016 to 33.5% in 2018. The jump in 2018 can be attributed to certain tax benefits. The figure could decline in the near term, amid the absence of a one-time tax benefit seen last year.
  • Merck’s adjusted net income margin increased from 26.5% in 2016 to 27.5% in 2018. It could grow in the near term, as the company has guided for a lower effective tax rate.


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