In their earnings conference call a little over 3 months ago Pfizer said that they would be buying back shares as they thought their stock was a bargain. At the time their shares were trading around $17. During the quarter their shares traded nearly 20% lower to $14. One would think at that price they really thought their shares were a bargain. Pfizer, which has $20 billion a year in free cash flow spent a whopping half a billion dollars on buybacks during the quarter.
When discussing buybacks on their most recent earnings conference call they spoke about the potential for "bolt on" acquisitions and downplayed buybacks. It seems a zebra cannot change their stripes. At current prices and with management reneging on their word there are better opportunities in healthcare.