AstraZeneca Rating Increased to Neutral at Bank of America Corp. (AZN)
AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) was upgraded by equities research analysts at Bank of America Corp. from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday, AnalystRatings.Net reports. The firm currently has a $55.20 price target on the stock, up from their previous price target of $48.82. Bank of America Corp.’s target price would suggest a potential upside of 3.25% from the company’s current price.
The analysts wrote, “AZN has underperformed the EU pharma sector by c10% this year and by c25% over the last 2 years. We now upgrade to Neutral for two main reasons: 1) We believe the consensus EPS downgrade cycle is closer to the bottom and; 2) Pipeline newsflow (product launches, PIII and PII) picks up significantly into next year, particularly important given AZN has been devoid of product newsflow for years. In our opinion, it is still too early to become more positive given trough EPS is not till FY17E (post Crestor expiry) and shares remain overvalued on longer-term PE.”
AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) traded up 1.37% on Monday, hitting $53.46. The stock had a trading volume of 1,497,581 shares. AstraZeneca has a one year low of $44.17 and a one year high of $53.45. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $50.19 and a 200-day moving average of $49.85. The company has a market cap of $66.932 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.46.
AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, August 1st. The company reported $1.20 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the analysts’ consensus estimate of $1.16 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $6.23 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $6.24 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.53 earnings per share. AstraZeneca’s revenue was down 6.4% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts expect that AstraZeneca will post $5.15 EPS for the current fiscal year.
A number of other firms have also recently commented on AZN. Analysts at Jefferies Group downgraded shares of AstraZeneca from a “hold” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research note to investors on Friday, October 11th. Separately, analysts at Leerink Swann reiterated a “market perform” rating on shares of AstraZeneca in a research note to investors on Monday, September 30th. Finally, analysts at Nordea Equity Research upgraded shares of AstraZeneca from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note to investors on Monday, September 16th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the stock. AstraZeneca presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $53.73.
AstraZeneca PLC (NYSE:AZN) is a global biopharmaceutical company.
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