AstraZeneca’s (LON:AZN) new oncology treatments will be in focus as the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker updates investors on its half-year performance this week. The statement will come after the company said in April that its product sales had grown 10 percent in the first three months of the year, reflecting the performance of the group’s new medicines.
AstraZeneca’s share price has been steady this Monday morning, having climbed 0.33 percent higher to 6,411.00p as of 10:01 BST. The stock is marginally underperforming the broader London market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.51 percent higher at 7,546.75 points. The pharmco’s shares have added nearly 15 percent to their value over the past year, as compared with about a two-percent fall in the Footsie.
AstraZeneca results preview
AstraZeneca is scheduled to update investors on its second-quarter trading on Thursday and Proactive Investors reports that UBS expects the pharmco’s oncology treatment Tagrisso to have racked up sales of $707 million, while Lynparza and Imfinzi are expected to have hit $252 million and $338 million, respectively. The Anglo-Swedish drugmaker has bet on oncology as one of its key therapy areas to help offset a decline in its previous blockbuster drugs which have been hit by competition from cheaper generics.
IG meanwhile notes that the strong performance of AstraZeneca’s share price this year reflects its strong first-quarter results, and that the pharmco and its investors expect “more of the same in its half-year results, with the drug maker anticipating strong and sustainable product sales growth to be accompanied by operating leverage, leading to an improvement in profitability”.
Analyst ratings update
UBS reaffirmed the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker as a ‘sell’ last week, without specifying a target on the AstraZeneca share price. According to MarketBeat, the blue-chip group currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average valuation of 6,502.94p.