AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday.
According to Zacks, “AstraZeneca’s core products like Nexium, Crestor and Seroquel are facing generic competition, which is hurting sales. The diabetes franchise also faces stiff competition while pricing pressure is hurting sales in the respiratory franchise. Nonetheless, AstraZeneca returned to product sales growth in the third quarter of 2018 on the back of its newer drugs and looks confident of seeing sustained growth for several years. AstraZeneca’s newer drugs like Lynparza, Tagrisso and Imfinzi should keep contributing to sales. Several launches are underway across each of the therapeutic areas, Oncology, CV metabolism and Respiratory. AstraZeneca also has a promising late-stage pipeline that includes immuno-oncology candidates. Shares have slightly outperformed the industry in the past one year. The company has a positive record of earnings surprises in the recent quarters. Estimates have gone down slightly ahead of the company’s Q4 release.”
AZN has been the subject of several other reports. Deutsche Bank restated a “buy” rating on shares of AstraZeneca in a research report on Monday, November 12th. Credit Suisse Group reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of AstraZeneca in a research report on Sunday, December 9th. Goldman Sachs Group reiterated a “sell” rating on shares of AstraZeneca in a research report on Friday, November 16th. Jefferies Financial Group reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $42.00 price target on shares of AstraZeneca in a research report on Tuesday, December 11th. Finally, BNP Paribas assumed coverage on shares of AstraZeneca in a research report on Tuesday, February 5th. They issued an “outperform” rating for the company. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $45.50.
Shares of AZN stock opened at $36.58 on Tuesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.36, a current ratio of 0.86 and a quick ratio of 0.66. The company has a market cap of $93.72 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.55, a P/E/G ratio of 1.96 and a beta of 0.51. AstraZeneca has a 12-month low of $32.69 and a 12-month high of $41.78.
Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Berman Capital Advisors LLC bought a new position in AstraZeneca in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $38,000. Portfolio Solutions LLC bought a new position in AstraZeneca in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $40,000. CNB Bank increased its stake in AstraZeneca by 245.0% in the fourth quarter. CNB Bank now owns 1,080 shares of the company’s stock valued at $41,000 after acquiring an additional 767 shares during the last quarter. Loeb Partners Corp bought a new position in AstraZeneca in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $46,000. Finally, Legacy Financial Advisors Inc. increased its stake in AstraZeneca by 38.6% in the fourth quarter. Legacy Financial Advisors Inc. now owns 2,031 shares of the company’s stock valued at $77,000 after acquiring an additional 566 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 17.27% of the company’s stock.
AstraZeneca PLC discovers, develops, and commercializes prescription medicines for the treatment of oncology, cardiovascular and metabolic, respiratory, gastrointestinal, neuroscience, and infection diseases worldwide. Its marketed products include Arimidex, Casodex/Cosudex, Calquence, Faslodex, Imfinzi, Iressa, Lynparza, Nolvadex, Tagrisso, and Zoladex for oncology diseases; Atacand1/Atacand HCT/Atacand Plus, Brilinta/Brilique, Crestor2, Plendil, Seloken/Toprol-XL4, Tenormin5, and Zestril6 for cardiovascular diseases; and Bydureon, Byetta, Farxiga/Forxiga, Kombiglyze XR, Komboglyze, Onglyza, Qtern, Symlin, Xigduo, and Xigduo XR for metabolic diseases.
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