Pfizer posted first-quarter revenue that was higher than analysts expected.

Photo: Andrew Seng for The Wall Street Journal

Pfizer Inc.’s PFE -0.24% first-quarter sales soared 77%, helped by higher revenue from its Covid-19 vaccine and antiviral medication.

The New York-based drug company logged $25.7 billion in sales in the first-quarter, driven by sales of its vaccine, Comirnaty, and Paxlovid, a pill aimed at reducing severe outcomes from the virus.

The revenue was higher than analysts expected, according to FactSet.

Direct sales of Comirnaty grew to $13.2 billion while Paxlovid brought in another $1.5 billion, having launched in the U.S. last December and internationally in late 2021 and earlier this year.

Excluding those two products, revenue increased by 2%. Sales of its pneumococcal vaccine Prevnar swelled 59% in the U.S. thanks to strong retail stocking and government purchases of the pediatric version.

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The company said it is on track to deliver between $98 billion and $102 billion in revenue for the year, with $32 billion coming from Comirnaty and $22 billion from Paxlovid.

Last week, Merck MRK -0.54% & Co. and Eli Lilly & Co. both reported strong sales growth tied to their Covid-19 treatments.

The company’s net income rose to $7.86 billion for the quarter, up from $4.88 billion last year, while earnings rose 59% to $1.37 a share. Stripping out one-time items, adjusted earnings climbed 72% to $1.62. Analysts polled by FactSet had been expecting $1.49 a share.

Despite the strong results, Pfizer trimmed its earnings forecast, reflecting an accounting-policy change that starts including all acquired in-process research and development expenses. It now expects per-share earnings between $6.25 and $6.45 a share, down 10 cents on each end of the range in its prior forecast.

Shares of Pfizer were down 1.5% in premarket trading.

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