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Subject:  PFE's Debt May Be Good Date:  8/29/2000  9:58 PM
Author:  foxunderwagen Number:  6997 of 8329

In your article on Pfizer's Balance Sheet after the WLA merger, you mention that PFE would be better off paying down debt than repurchasing stock. You feel that would improve its bottom line. While paying down debt would reduce interest expense, it is also true that share repurchases reduce dividends payable and so improve cash flow/interest expense in their own way. When the stock is undervalued it can be more beneficial to repo it. Every case is different and the numbers must be crunched to determine it, but it is not always better to pay off debt.

Also, debt adds value to the company because it is tax shielded, so the government is helping to finance the assets bought with borrowed funds.
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