AstraZeneca share price rallies as pharmco flags earnings at ‘favourable end’ of guidance

Company reports receding impact from loss of exclusivity

AstraZeneca share price rallies as pharmco flags earnings at ‘favourable end’ of guidance

Shares in AstraZeneca (LON:AZN) have jumped more than two percent in London this morning, as the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker forecast that its full-year earnings will come in “towards the favourable end” of its guidance. The company further updated investors on its third-quarter performance, revealing receding impact from losses of exclusivity of some of its top-selling products.

As of 08:30 GMT, AstraZeneca’s share price had added 2.20 percent to 5,104.00p, outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having slipped marginally into the red and currently standing 0.13 percent lower at 7,519.95 points. The group’s shares have added more than 11 percent to their value over the past year, and are up by some 14 percent in the year-to-date.

Receding impact from loss of exclusivity

AstraZeneca revealed in a statement this morning that its product sales had declined three percent in the third quarter, amid receding impact from losses of exclusivity. The company, which is betting on new treatments to counter generic competition to some of its top-selling treatments, further reported that its growth platforms had grown by three percent, representing 66 percent of the pharmco’s total revenue.

Total revenue rose nine percent to $6.23 billion in the quarter, while core operating profit came in nine percent higher at $1.85 billion. Core earnings per share, however, dipped 15 percent to $1.12.

“Our financial performance in the quarter was in line with expectations,” AstraZeneca’s chief executive Pascal Soriot commented in the statement, adding, however, that it had been “the raft of news flow and approvals that was most notable”.

Favourable end of guidance

AstraZeneca further updated its full-year outlook, noting that it now expected its core earnings per share to come in “towards the favourable end of a low to mid-teens percentage decline,” as compared with an earlier guidance of “a low to mid-teens percentage decline”. The pharmco maintained its total revenue outlook of “a low to mid single-digit percentage decline”. 

AstraZeneca's results follow peer GSK's (LON:GSK) third-quarter udpate last month. 

As of 09:00 GMT, Thursday, 09 November, AstraZeneca plc share price is 5,091.99p.

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