HighPoint Advisor Group LLC lessened its stake in shares of AstraZeneca plc (NYSE:AZN) by 22.2% in the fourth quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 5,620 shares of the company’s stock after selling 1,600 shares during the quarter. HighPoint Advisor Group LLC’s holdings in AstraZeneca were worth $227,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Other hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Berman Capital Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in AstraZeneca in the fourth quarter worth approximately $38,000. Sontag Advisory LLC bought a new stake in AstraZeneca in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $40,000. Portfolio Solutions LLC bought a new stake in AstraZeneca in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $40,000. CNB Bank lifted its position 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 purchasing an additional 767 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Loeb Partners Corp bought a new stake in AstraZeneca in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $46,000. 18.31% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Several analysts have weighed in on the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded AstraZeneca from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $46.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Thursday, April 4th. ValuEngine downgraded AstraZeneca from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, April 1st. Cowen upgraded AstraZeneca from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and boosted their price objective for the company from $42.00 to $48.00 in a research report on Monday, April 1st. UBS Group downgraded AstraZeneca from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $40.73 target price for the company. in a report on Tuesday, April 2nd. Finally, BNP Paribas began coverage on AstraZeneca in a report on Tuesday, February 5th. They set an “outperform” rating for the company. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $45.29.
AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 14th. The company reported $1.58 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.73 by $0.85. AstraZeneca had a return on equity of 32.47% and a net margin of 9.76%. The business had revenue of $6.42 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $6.33 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.30 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 11.1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts predict that AstraZeneca plc will post 1.78 EPS for the current year.
The business also recently announced a semiannual dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, March 27th. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 1st were paid a $0.95 dividend. This is a boost from AstraZeneca’s previous semiannual dividend of $0.45. This represents a dividend yield of 4.64%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, February 28th. AstraZeneca’s dividend payout ratio is currently 53.76%.
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AstraZeneca Company Profile
AstraZeneca PLC discovers, develops, and commercializes prescription medicines in the areas of oncology, cardiovascular, renal and metabolism, respiratory, autoimmunity, infection, neuroscience, and gastroenterology 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, Crestor, Plendil, Seloken/Toprol-XL, Tenormin, and Zestril 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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