AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report released on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “AstraZeneca has a strong product portfolio and is one of the key players in the global cardiovascular market. It has been very active on the acquisition and partnership front, and expects to continue pursuing accretive deals. However, AstraZeneca’s core products like Nexium, Seroquel and Crestor are facing generic competition, which is hurting sales. Sales in the diabetes franchise are declining due to intense pricing pressure and competition from market share. Rising competition in the immuno-oncology market is a significant concern. Although AstraZeneca is among the major players in immunotherapy, there are several other companies, big as well as small, looking to develop and bring immunotherapy treatments to market. Sales of another important drug, Symbicort, are declining due to significant pricing pressure on the ICS/LABA class.”

AZN has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Natixis upgraded AstraZeneca from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, September 6th. Leerink Swann lifted their price target on AstraZeneca from $31.00 to $34.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research note on Monday, October 23rd. Credit Suisse Group upgraded AstraZeneca from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note on Monday, October 16th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded AstraZeneca from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, December 29th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets set a $38.00 price target on AstraZeneca and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 15th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $34.20.

Shares of AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) opened at $35.38 on Wednesday. AstraZeneca has a 12-month low of $26.51 and a 12-month high of $35.60. The company has a market capitalization of $87,250.00, a PE ratio of 25.27, a P/E/G ratio of 3.33 and a beta of 0.76. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.09, a current ratio of 0.94 and a quick ratio of 0.72.

AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, November 9th. The company reported $1.12 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.57 by $0.55. AstraZeneca had a return on equity of 34.02% and a net margin of 15.90%. The business had revenue of $6.23 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $6 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.32 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 9.4% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts anticipate that AstraZeneca will post 1.88 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in AZN. WFG Advisors LP boosted its stake in shares of AstraZeneca 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 during the last quarter. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of AstraZeneca in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $133,000. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. boosted its stake in shares of AstraZeneca 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 during the last quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC boosted its stake in shares of AstraZeneca by 18.4% in the 2nd quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC now owns 5,437 shares of the company’s stock worth $147,000 after buying an additional 846 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Wealthcare Advisory Partners LLC purchased a new position in shares of AstraZeneca in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $184,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 14.75% of the company’s stock.

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About AstraZeneca

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 (NYSE:AZN)

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