AstraZeneca PLC (ANZ) is a multinational biopharmaceutical company that develops, manufactures and sells prescription medicine around the world. Headquartered in Cambridge, England, the $195.47 billion in market cap company has a portfolio of products for major diseases, focusing on key areas like Oncology, Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolic (CVRM) and Respiratory.
With over 80,000 employees, the British-Swedish company remains one of the leaders in the fight against COVID-19 with about 1 billion dozes of its COVID-19 vaccine Vaxzervria released to more than 170 countries according to its CEO, Pascal Soriot. In the first half of 2021, the company and its sublicensee have released about 80 million doses of Vaxzervria to more than 125 countries through the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX13) initiative – majority of the doses have been made available to low and middle-income countries-, with its vaccine providing 90% of COVAX supply as at the end of June 2021.
From AstraZeneca’s H1 financial results, the company announced that revenue grew by 23% to $15.54 billion and by 31% to $8.22 billion in Q2; excluding sales of Vaxzervria (COVID-19 vaccine), the company’s revenue still increased by 14% in H1 to $14.37 billion and by 17% in Q2 to $7.33 billion. Core EPS in H1 was reportedly $2.53 (26% growth) while product sales grew by 24%, driven primarily by the performance of new medicines – which now account for about 54% of the company’s total revenue- across Oncology and BioPharmaceuticals.
AstraZeneca PLC is expected to announce its third quarter financial report on Friday, November 12, before the market opens.
Based on Analysts’ estimates at Zacks Investment Research, the consensus earnings per share is 65cents, up from 47cents (38.3% growth) in the year ago quarter and even up by a similar magnitude from the previous quarter (Q2, 2021) which printed at 45cents. For the full year, Zack’s EPS consensus estimate sits at $2.65, up from $2.01 in 2020 which represents a 31.84% growth. One cannot ignore Zack’s most accurate estimate which is now lower at 61cents (Negative ESP of 6.51%) showing that analysts have recently downgraded their earnings expectation based on new and more recent information –the idea is that recent information can be a better predictor of the future- earning the stock a #4 sell rank on Zacks.
Zacks’ revenue estimate for Q3 is $9.82 billion, up from $6.58 billion in the year ago quarter (49.3% growth) while for the full year, revenue estimates sits at $36.04 billion, also up from $26.62 billion (35.4% growth) in 2020.
AstraZeneca Quarterly EPS History and Forecast
Following the acquisition of Alexion (an American pharmaceutical company), AstraZeneca will now extend its presence in rare diseases (of which only 5% of the over 7000 rare diseases have cures approved by the FDA) and immunology backed by Alexion’s innovative complement-biology platform and robust pipelines and thus opening the door for higher growth opportunity for the company. The Company updated its full year guidance, expecting a faster growth in core EPS of $5.05 to $5.40 and total non-vaccine revenue to increase by a low-twenties percentage. With AstraZeneca having missed estimates just once over the last 4 quarters and Alexion’s contribution expected to be a part of this Q3 report coupled with solid fundamentals for the company, another beat may be on the cards.
#AstraZeneca has consistently pushed higher since finding a bottom in September around $80.5, creating higher lows and higher highs till it reached a new high for 2021 around $95.3. The stock has since pulled back a bit to support around $93.2 -April, 2020 highs- but clear rejection in recent moves lower shows activity of dip buyers and strong upside momentum. The 20 and 50 period Moving Averages support the upside momentum as price remains above both MAs and failed to sustain a move lower than any of them since the golden cross in mid-September. RSI trades high but not in overbought region just yet, another bullish signal and the MACD also adds more optimism on the stock at it keeps well above zero. A beat in earnings and revenue estimate could give the AstraZeneca the momentum to create a fresh year high but a miss could see some chance for profit taking on the stock with support levels coming in at $92 and further at the support trendline from late September around $88.
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Market Analyst – HF Educational office – Nigeria
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