AstraZeneca share price: Liberum continues to see pharmco as ‘hold’

Analysts argue pipeline potential is already priced in

AstraZeneca share price: Liberum continues to see pharmco as ‘hold’

Liberum continues to see AstraZeneca (LON:AZN) as a ‘hold,’ arguing that the pharmco’s current share price is fair given the potential of the group’s pipeline, Proactive Investors reports. The Anglo-Swedish drugmaker is betting on new medicines in several key therapy areas as it looks to counter competition from cheaper generics which has been pressuring sales of some of its flagship treatments.

AstraZeneca’s share price has gained ground in today’s session, having added 0.88 percent to 5,410.00p as of 13:24 BST, largely in line with the broader market rally which has seen the benchmark FTSE 100 index gain 1.04 percent to 7,683.18 points. The group’s shares have lost less than one percent of their value over the past year, as compared with about a 2.7-percent gain in the Footsie.

Liberum sees AstraZeneca as ‘hold’

Liberum kept its ‘hold’ rating on AstraZeneca today, while lifting its price target on the shares from 5,000p to 5,300p. Proactive Investors quoted the analysts as explaining that while the pharmco’s research and development turnaround has been ‘remarkable,’ this has already been priced into the shares. To justify an upgrade to ‘buy,’ the broker’s analyst Roger Franklin reckons there would have to be a ‘disproportionate’ amount of clinical success over the coming months and years.

“In the unlikely event that the whole pipeline works, there is 33% upside to our base case in 2023 whilst there is 37% downside in the unlikely event it all fails,” he said, as quoted by the newswire.

Other analysts on blue-chip pharmco

Jefferies, which has a ‘buy’ rating on AstraZeneca, boosted its price target on the shares from 5,950p to 6,000p last week, while Goldman Sachs, which sees the pharmco as a ‘sell,’ set a valuation of 3,750p on the stock. According to MarketBeat, the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker currently has a consensus ‘buy’ rating and an average price target of 5,381.91p.

As of 13:55 BST, Wednesday, 20 June, AstraZeneca plc share price is 5,412.00p.

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