Astrazeneca PLC (NYSE:AZN) was the target of unusually large options trading activity on Thursday. Traders acquired 21,026 call options on the company. This represents an increase of 777% compared to the typical volume of 2,397 call options.

Shares of Astrazeneca PLC (NYSE AZN) opened at 32.25 on Friday. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $30.20 and a 200 day moving average of $31.61. Astrazeneca PLC has a 52 week low of $25.55 and a 52 week high of $35.60. The stock has a market cap of $81.66 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.15 and a beta of 0.74.

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

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

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

AZN has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Astrazeneca PLC from a “strong-buy” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, July 17th. Natixis upgraded shares of Astrazeneca PLC from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday. BidaskClub lowered shares of Astrazeneca PLC from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 11th. Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Astrazeneca PLC in a research report on Wednesday, August 9th. Finally, Cowen and Company reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $34.00 price target on shares of Astrazeneca PLC in a research report on Friday, July 28th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $33.60.

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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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