AstraZeneca share price: Deutsche Bank remains bullish on pharmco

Equities

Analysts point to encouraging drug trial results

Deutsche Bank remains bullish on AstraZeneca (LON:AZN) following upbeat oncology drug trial results which the analysts argue are a ‘turning point’ for the blue-chip pharma group. The Anglo-Swedish pharmco is betting on new treatments to help offset a decline in sales of some of its top-selling drugs which have been pressured by cheaper generics.

AstraZeneca’s share price has slipped marginally lower in London in today’s session, having given up 0.16 percent to 4,716.00p as of 14:22 GMT, in line with losses in the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.17 percent lower at 7,335.19 points. The group’s shares have added more than 17 percent to their value over the past year, as compared with an over six-percent rise in the Footsie.

Deutsche Bank upbeat on AstraZeneca

Deutsche Bank reiterated its ‘buy’ rating on AstraZeneca this week, lifting its price target on the shares from 5,600p to 5,700p.

“We believe recent strong data from the Flaura and Pacific trials of Tagrisso/Imfinzi mark a turning point for AstraZeneca and the profitability of its lung cancer franchise will drive a significant turnaround in margin and earnings per share momentum through 2018,” the broker’s analyst Richard Parkes explained, as quoted by Citywire, adding that this reassured Deutsche’s stance that the blue-chip drugmaker “will emerge as a market leader in a potential $7 billion class, with significant upside potential to consensus forecasts”.

Other analysts on blue-chip pharmco

Shore Capital meanwhile reiterated its ‘hold’ rating on AstraZeneca this month, without specifying a price target on the stock, while Morgan Stanley continues to see the company as an ‘equal weight,’ valuing the shares at 5,000p. According to MarketBeat, the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 5,226.27p.

Earlier this week, AstraZeneca cautioned that it could be hit with an extra $35.5 million a year in annual duties if the UK does not withdraw in an orderly manner from the European Union.

As of 15:03 GMT, Thursday, 07 December, AstraZeneca plc share price is 4,716.00p.