Astrazeneca PLC (NYSE:AZN) saw unusually large options trading on Wednesday. Traders purchased 8,259 put options on the stock. This represents an increase of 1,510% compared to the average volume of 513 put options.

Several equities research analysts have issued reports on AZN shares. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) restated a “sell” rating on shares of Astrazeneca PLC in a report on Thursday, July 13th. Credit Suisse Group upgraded Astrazeneca PLC from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday, May 12th. Barclays PLC restated an “overweight” rating on shares of Astrazeneca PLC in a report on Thursday, July 13th. Leerink Swann downgraded Astrazeneca PLC from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and dropped their price objective for the stock from $36.00 to $31.00 in a report on Thursday, July 27th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded Astrazeneca PLC from a “strong-buy” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, July 17th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $33.60.

Astrazeneca PLC (AZN) opened at 32.25 on Friday. Astrazeneca PLC has a 52-week low of $25.55 and a 52-week high of $35.60. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $30.20 and its 200-day moving average price is $31.61. The firm has a market cap of $81.66 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.15 and a beta of 0.74.

Astrazeneca PLC (NYSE:AZN) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The company reported $0.87 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.41 by $0.46. Astrazeneca PLC had a return on equity of 35.90% and a net margin of 17.80%. The business had revenue of $5.05 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.04 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.83 EPS. Astrazeneca PLC’s quarterly revenue was down 9.9% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts predict that Astrazeneca PLC will post $1.85 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a None dividend, which will be paid on Monday, September 11th. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 11th will be issued a $0.44 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 9th. This represents a dividend yield of 2.98%. Astrazeneca PLC’s payout ratio is presently 44.92%.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Astrazeneca PLC in the 1st quarter worth approximately $107,000. Meeder Asset Management Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Astrazeneca PLC in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $105,000. WFG Advisors LP raised its holdings in shares of Astrazeneca PLC by 36.0% in the 2nd quarter. WFG Advisors LP now owns 3,716 shares of the company’s stock worth $127,000 after buying an additional 984 shares in the last quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC raised its holdings in shares of Astrazeneca PLC by 3,782.0% in the 1st quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 3,882 shares of the company’s stock worth $121,000 after buying an additional 3,782 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. raised its holdings in shares of Astrazeneca PLC by 71.2% in the 2nd quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. now owns 4,252 shares of the company’s stock worth $145,000 after buying an additional 1,769 shares in the last quarter. 14.18% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Astrazeneca PLC

AstraZeneca PLC (AstraZeneca) is a biopharmaceutical company. The Company focuses on discovery and development of products, which are then manufactured, marketed and sold. The Company focuses on three main therapy areas: Oncology, Cardiovascular & Metabolic Disease (CVMD) and Respiratory, while selectively pursuing therapies in Autoimmunity, Infection and Neuroscience.

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