* R&D chief aims to complete review this year
* Some analysts want break up to boost stock price
(Adds stock price, performance)
NEW YORK, March 17 Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) plans to
complete a review this year of whether it should divest any of
its businesses to maximize their value, a top executive at the
drugmaker said on Thursday.
"We are going through a comprehensive review that we aim to
complete during this year," said Mikael Dolsten, Pfizer's
president of worldwide research and development.
Speaking at a Barclays Capital investor conference, Dolsten
said Pfizer Chief Executive Ian Read has said that "we have an
innovative core of our company with adjacent businesses, that
each of them are doing really well.
"But we need also to understand what is the maximum value
for those businesses, which of them actually have a higher
value by being inside Pfizer and can benefit from the
capabilities and our financial strengths, our reach in the
market, and which would do better as businesses and create more
value for shareholders to be outside the company," he said,
according to a transcript of the event.
Dolsten's comments come after Sanford Bernstein analyst Tim
Anderson said earlier this week Pfizer may spin off or sell its
non-pharmaceutical divisions, including nutritionals and animal
health, as well as the company's established products unit that
focuses on off-patent medicines.
Anderson said in a research report the move could shrink
the world's largest drugmaker's revenue base to between $35
billion and $40 billion from $67 billion.
Analysts and investors have been debating whether Read, who
was named CEO in December, should break up the company to
jump-start its languishing stock price. Critics say a series of
mega-mergers created a bloated organization. [ID:nN16174453]
Pfizer shares rose 3 percent to close at $19.88 on
Thursday, outperforming a rise for the broad market. The shares
have risen nearly 19 percent since Read took over as CEO.
(Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf; editing by Andre Grenon)