AstraZeneca (AZN) Lifted to Outperform at Cowen

Cowen upgraded shares of AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) from a market perform rating to an outperform rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday, April 1st, 24/7 WallStreet reports. They currently have $48.00 price target on the stock, up from their prior price target of $42.00.

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on the company. Zacks Investment Research cut AstraZeneca from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Thursday, March 28th. Main First Bank reissued a buy rating on shares of AstraZeneca in a report on Tuesday, March 19th. HSBC reissued a sell rating on shares of AstraZeneca in a report on Thursday, February 28th. Deutsche Bank reissued a buy rating on shares of AstraZeneca in a report on Tuesday, February 26th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group reissued a sell rating on shares of AstraZeneca in a report on Tuesday, February 26th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. AstraZeneca presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $45.29.

Shares of AZN traded up $0.03 during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $38.72. 3,087,708 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 5,483,647. The stock has a market cap of $98.24 billion, a PE ratio of 11.19, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.19 and a beta of 0.51. The company has a current ratio of 0.96, a quick ratio of 0.78 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.24. AstraZeneca has a 12 month low of $34.38 and a 12 month high of $43.29.

AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 14th. The company reported $1.58 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.73 by $0.85. The company had revenue of $6.42 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $6.33 billion. AstraZeneca had a return on equity of 32.47% and a net margin of 9.76%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 11.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.30 earnings per share. As a group, analysts forecast that AstraZeneca will post 1.78 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a semiannual dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, March 27th. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 1st were given a dividend of $0.95 per share. This represents a yield of 4.64%. This is a boost from AstraZeneca’s previous semiannual dividend of $0.45. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, February 28th. AstraZeneca’s payout ratio is presently 53.76%.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Pinnacle Bank purchased a new position in AstraZeneca during the 4th quarter worth approximately $38,000. Berman Capital Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of AstraZeneca during the 4th quarter valued at $38,000. Sontag Advisory LLC purchased a new position in shares of AstraZeneca during the 4th quarter valued at $40,000. Portfolio Solutions LLC purchased a new position in shares of AstraZeneca during the 4th quarter valued at $40,000. Finally, CNB Bank grew its holdings in shares of AstraZeneca by 245.0% during the 4th quarter. CNB Bank now owns 1,080 shares of the company’s stock valued at $41,000 after acquiring an additional 767 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 18.31% of the company’s stock.

About AstraZeneca

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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Analyst Recommendations for AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN)

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