Astrazeneca PLC (NYSE:AZN)‘s stock had its “buy” rating reissued by equities researchers at Sanford C. Bernstein in a report issued on Friday.

AZN has been the topic of several other research reports. Liberum Capital downgraded Astrazeneca PLC from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, September 14th. BMO Capital Markets initiated coverage on Astrazeneca PLC in a research note on Wednesday, September 6th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $38.00 price objective on the stock. Natixis upgraded Astrazeneca PLC from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, September 6th. Argus reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $35.00 price objective on shares of Astrazeneca PLC in a research note on Friday, September 1st. Finally, Investec upgraded Astrazeneca PLC from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 9th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $32.70.

Shares of Astrazeneca PLC (NYSE:AZN) traded up 3.47% during trading on Friday, hitting $33.95. The stock had a trading volume of 10,233,531 shares. The company has a market capitalization of $85.96 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.27 and a beta of 0.74. 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 $30.33 and its 200 day moving average price is $31.81. Astrazeneca PLC also was the recipient of unusually large options trading on Wednesday. Investors acquired 8,259 put options on the company. This represents an increase of approximately 1,510% compared to the average volume of 513 put options.

Astrazeneca PLC (NYSE:AZN) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The company reported $0.87 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.41 by $0.46. Astrazeneca PLC had a return on equity of 35.90% and a net margin of 17.80%. The firm had revenue of $5.05 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.04 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.83 EPS. The company’s revenue was down 9.9% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts predict that Astrazeneca PLC will post $1.90 earnings per share for the current year.

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Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Wellington Management Group LLP increased its stake in Astrazeneca PLC by 7.9% in the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 63,250,780 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,969,630,000 after acquiring an additional 4,605,694 shares during the last quarter. Dodge & Cox bought a new position in Astrazeneca PLC in the fourth quarter valued at $1,355,443,000. Bank of America Corp DE increased its stake in Astrazeneca PLC by 29.5% in the first quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 45,744,976 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,424,498,000 after acquiring an additional 10,414,969 shares during the last quarter. Primecap Management Co. CA increased its stake in Astrazeneca PLC by 32.1% in the first quarter. Primecap Management Co. CA now owns 34,310,950 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,068,443,000 after acquiring an additional 8,330,675 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Capital International Investors increased its stake in Astrazeneca PLC by 0.6% in the third quarter. Capital International Investors now owns 20,600,179 shares of the company’s stock valued at $676,922,000 after acquiring an additional 126,700 shares during the last quarter. 14.17% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Astrazeneca PLC Company Profile

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Astrazeneca PLC (NYSE:AZN)

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