AstraZeneca share price: Jefferies retains bullish stance on pharmco
Analysts at Jefferies remain bullish on AstraZeneca (LON:AZN), while noting that the pharmco missed third-quarter revenue targets. The comments follow the drugmaker’s results yesterday when the company revealed that competition from cheaper generics had continued to weigh on its performance in the three months to September 30.
AstraZeneca’s share price, which came under pressure in the previous session following the results, has extended yesterday’s losses in early morning trade today. As of 08:26 GMT, the shares were changing hands 1.34 percent in the red at 4,345.50p, underperforming the benchmark FTSE 100 index which has slipped marginally into the red and is currently 0.25 percent worse off at 6,811.23 points.
Jefferies reiterated its ‘buy’ recommendation on AstraZeneca yesterday, and a price target of 6,000p on the stock, noting that one-off factors had helped the pharmco’s earnings.
“Q3 2016 revenue missed by five percent primarily due to lower Symbicort (inhaler) sales,” the broker’s analyst Jeffrey Holford pointed out, as quoted by Citywire. “Core earnings per share beat by 35 percent, helped by lower costs and a $0.36 per share tax benefit.”
Holford further noted that the group’s full-year earnings guidance remained unchanged which implies earnings per share range between $4.13 and $4.39.
In a separate development, Reuters reported yesterday that AstraZeneca’s chief executive expects major US healthcare changes following Donald Trump’s election as president of the US.
“Nobody knows what the new landscape will look like. It’s reasonable to assume it will change substantially,” Pascal Soriot said, as quoted by the newswire. “The US has always been a country that supports innovation and new differentiated medicines, and we hope it will remain the same. But we also believe we will continue to have to deal with price pressures.”
As of 08:49 GMT, Friday, 11 November, AstraZeneca plc share price is 4,318.00p.