Morgan Stanley cut shares of Astrazeneca PLC (NYSE:AZN) from an overweight rating to an equal weight rating in a report published on Friday, MarketBeat.com reports.

A number of other research analysts also recently commented on the company. Cowen and Company restated a hold rating and issued a $34.00 target price on shares of Astrazeneca PLC in a research note on Friday. Leerink Swann downgraded Astrazeneca PLC from an outperform rating to a market perform rating and lowered their target price for the company from $36.00 to $31.00 in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. BidaskClub downgraded Astrazeneca PLC from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Monday, July 24th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Astrazeneca PLC from a strong-buy rating to a sell rating in a research note on Monday, July 17th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) restated a sell rating on shares of Astrazeneca PLC in a research note on Thursday, July 13th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the company. Astrazeneca PLC presently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $33.39.

Astrazeneca PLC (NYSE:AZN) opened at 30.18 on Friday. Astrazeneca PLC has a 1-year low of $25.55 and a 1-year high of $35.60. The firm has a market capitalization of $76.42 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.80 and a beta of 0.77. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $33.69 and a 200 day moving average price of $31.36.

Astrazeneca PLC (NYSE:AZN) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The company reported $0.87 EPS for the quarter, beating 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 company posted $0.83 earnings per share. The business’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.

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

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Tompkins Financial Corp boosted its position in Astrazeneca PLC by 67.0% in the first quarter. Tompkins Financial Corp now owns 3,545 shares of the company’s stock valued at $100,000 after buying an additional 1,422 shares during the period. Meeder Asset Management Inc. purchased a new position in Astrazeneca PLC during the second quarter valued at approximately $105,000. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. purchased a new position in Astrazeneca PLC during the first quarter valued at approximately $107,000. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC boosted its position in Astrazeneca PLC by 3,782.0% in the first quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 3,882 shares of the company’s stock valued at $121,000 after buying an additional 3,782 shares during the period. Finally, Quadrant Capital Group LLC boosted its position in Astrazeneca PLC by 157.1% in the first quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC now owns 4,591 shares of the company’s stock valued at $138,000 after buying an additional 2,805 shares during the period. 14.39% of the stock is 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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