Start Meetings With Largest Investors (Update3)
By Shannon Pettypiece
June 28 (Bloomberg) -- Pfizer Inc., whose shares
have lost nearly a quarter of their value in the past three years,
said it will become the first company to hold regular meetings
between its directors and largest shareholders to discuss
executive pay and management practices.
The first meeting will be in the third quarter
with about 30 investors who together hold 35 percent of the New
York-based company's shares, said Pfizer spokesman Andy McCormick
in a telephone interview today. Pfizer's top shareholders include
Barclays Global Investors Ltd., State Street Corp. and Vanguard
Group Inc., according to data complied by Bloomberg.
Pfizer, the world's largest drugmaker, has been
trying to restore investor confidence as its shares have fallen.
The company is struggling to find new drugs to replace the $21
billion in annual revenue analysts expect it to lose to generic
competition by 2011.
``Given the share price performance, it is
probably prudent to at least sit down and explain to your
shareholders where you are going,'' said Les Funtleyder, a health
care analyst with Miler Tabak & Co. in New York, which doesn't own
Pfizer shares. ``I would assume there is certainly investor
discontent over the fact the shares haven't responded too much to
the changes the company has been making.''
Pfizer's shares fell 3 cents to $25.58 at 11:03
a.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares have
lost 2 percent since the company ousted chief executive officer
Hank McKinnell on July 28 to help quell investor discontent.
McKinnell's replacement, Jeffrey Kindler, has
announced plans to slash 10,000 jobs, or 10 percent of Pfizer's
workforce, in his first year in the job to save money and speed
drug discovery. He is also seeking replacements for the company's
chief financial officer and head of research.
Kindler has had a better rapport with investors
and analysts than McKinnell, analysts say. Still, Pfizer has had
major research setbacks in the past year, including ending
development of the cholesterol pill torcetrapib. The drug, its
most promising experimental treatment, had been expected to
generate more than $13 billion in annual revenue.
Pfizer will likely hold the meetings annually,
To contact the reporter on this story: Robert
Greene in Washington at
Last Updated: June 28, 2007 11:30 EDT