Pfizer puts up huge 4Q profit

Associated Press

Pfizer's fourth-quarter profit soared to $12.27 billion thanks to a huge tax benefit related to the U.S. tax system overhaul.

The biggest U.S. drugmaker today reported an $11.34 billion benefit, mainly from recalculating deferred tax liabilities. Pfizer also said it will take a charge of approximately $15 billion, payable to the Treasury over eight years, to cover taxes on up to $24.2 billion in cash and investments held overseas that it plans to bring back to the U.S.

The New York company said those figures may need to be adjusted.

Pfizer plans to invest roughly $5 billion in capital projects in the U.S. over the next five years, including upgrading and expanding U.S. medicine factories, including adding the capability to make gene therapies.

"The tax change is likely to influence where we invest in the future," Chief Executive Ian Read said in an interview.

That could mean more investment in the U.S. Pfizer also plans to spend about $100 million as a one-time bonus for non-executive employees and to make a $500 million payment to its U.S. pension fund.

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