Equities UK Pharmaceuticals & Health

AstraZeneca share price: Deutsche Bank remains bullish on pharmco

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Deutsche Bank continues to see AstraZeneca (LON:AZN) as a ‘buy,’ pointing to the pharmco’s ‘strong start’ to the year, Sharecast reports. The comments came after the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker updated investors on its first-quarter performance last week, posting a rise in sales, having benefitting from its new treatments.

AstraZeneca’s share price has been subdued in London trading this Tuesday, having given up 0.57 percent to 5,807.00p as of 13:43 BST. The stock is marginally underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index which is currently 0.30 percent worse off at 7,418.05 points.

DB bullish on AstraZeneca

Deutsche Bank reaffirmed AstraZeneca as a ‘buy’ yesterday, with a price target of 6,900p on the shares. Sharecast quoted the analysts as commenting that the company had posted a ‘good start’ to the year, with first-quarter sales and earnings per share three percent and five percent ahead of consensus, along with product sales trending ‘well above’ management’s guidance for high single-digit growth for the current year.

The broker further reckons that the FTSE 100 group’s strong performance was “broad-based, with solid performance across the portfolio” thanks, in part, to its “very strong emerging markets sales”.

While the analysts noted that AstraZeneca’s guidance remained unchanged and consensus changes were likely to be ‘modest at this stage,’ they also believe that  the firm’s performance was “likely to provide comfort to investors” over its ability to meet consensus expectations for medium-term margin improvements.

“This should ultimately lead to substantially improved cash-flow generation, easing fears raised by the recent equity raise,” Deutsche Bank concluded, as quoted by Sharecast.

Other analysts on pharmco

Credit Suisse reaffirmed the blue-chip pharmco as an ‘outperform’ yesterday, without specifying a target for the AstraZeneca share price, while UBS continues to see the company as a ‘sell,’ valuing the stock at 7,418.05p. According to MarketBeat, the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 6,362.70p.

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