AstraZeneca facing raised expectations


AstraZeneca PLC (LSE:AZN) releases third quarter results on Friday with shareholders feeling good despite the company perhaps not getting the kudos it deserved for its COVID-19 vaccine efforts.

Stockbroker AJ Bell noted a positive outlook for the FTSE 100 stalwart, given the recent performance of the shares despite the weight of the COVID-19 vaccine (which is sold at cost and is overall loss making).

“Shares in AstraZeneca trade at a new all-time high, as if to validate the strategy of chief executive Pascal Soriot, recognise the work the company is putting into its drug development pipeline and thank it for its work on combatting the COVID-19 pandemic,” the stockbroker said in a note.

“Concerns over the company’s US$39bn purchase for cash and stock of America’s Alexon Pharmaceuticals also appear to be easing as a result, as AstraZeneca looks to strengthen its position in the fields of immunology and rare diseases.

“The first-half results back in July also boosted sentiment. M. Soriot raised guidance for 2021 for both sales and core earnings per share and analysts will initially judge the third-quarter results in this context.”

“Analysts and investors will therefore dig behind the headline earnings per share numbers and their first port of call will be total product sales.”

Significant announcements expected

Trading Updates: AstraZeneca PLC (AstraZeneca PLC (LSE:AZN))

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Economic Data: Preliminary University of Michigan Confidence (US)


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