AstraZeneca share price: Analysts say pharmco ‘turned a corner’

on Feb 15, 2019
Updated: Mar 11, 2020

Hargreaves Lansdown says that AstraZeneca (LON:AZN) turned a corner last year, Citywire reports. The comments came after the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker updated the market on its full-year performance yesterday, disclosing that it had returned to sales growth last year, having benefitted  from the performance of its new medicines.

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AstraZeneca’s share price rallied in the previous session following the results, adding 7.48 percent to close at 6,149.00p, lending support to the benchmark FTSE 100 index which inched marginally higher, gaining  6.17 points to close 0.09 percent higher at 7,197.01. This morning, the shares have been little changed in early trade, having climbed 0.05 percent higher at 6,152.10p as of 08:04 GMT, as compared with a flat Footsie.

HL weighs in on AstraZeneca

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Citywire quoted Hargreaves Lansdown’s analyst Nicholas Hyett as commenting yesterday that 2018 was the year AstraZeneca had  ‘turned the corner,’ despite its ‘fairly ugly drop in profits’. The pharmco revealed a 19-percent fall in core earnings per share to $3.46.

“In recent years Astra’s been slowly eating itself to keep the dividend going, while it waits for the pipeline to deliver,” Hyatt pointed out, adding that the company was now reaping the rewards of its patience and “even after recent successes the pipeline of new drugs looks rich”.

The analyst further reckons that “rolling more mature drugs into emerging markets also seems to be delivering results”.

Other analysts on drugmaker

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JPMorgan Chase & Co, which is bullish on AstraZeneca with a ‘buy’ rating, set a price target of 7,100p on the shares yesterday, while Jefferies, which is neutral on the stock, set a valuation of 6,100p. According to MarketBeat, the blue-chip drugmaker currently has a consensus ‘buy’ rating and an average price target of 6,222.20p.

As of 08:25 GMT, Friday, 15 February, AstraZeneca plc share price is 6,149.00p.

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