AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN) Shares Gap Up to $48.42

AstraZeneca PLC (NASDAQ:AZN) shares gapped up prior to trading on Thursday . The stock had previously closed at $48.42, but opened at $50.10. AstraZeneca shares last traded at $49.65, with a volume of 250,674 shares trading hands.

Several equities analysts have issued reports on AZN shares. Societe Generale reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of AstraZeneca in a research report on Tuesday, March 23rd. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft restated a “buy” rating on shares of AstraZeneca in a research report on Thursday, March 18th. Berenberg Bank restated a “buy” rating on shares of AstraZeneca in a research report on Tuesday, March 9th. Barclays restated an “overweight” rating on shares of AstraZeneca in a research report on Monday, March 8th. Finally, Jefferies Financial Group upgraded AstraZeneca from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, March 22nd. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $83.40.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.34, a current ratio of 0.96 and a quick ratio of 0.76. The business has a 50 day moving average of $49.39 and a 200 day moving average of $51.40. The firm has a market capitalization of $130.26 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 50.44, a PEG ratio of 1.18 and a beta of 0.55.

AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 10th. The company reported $0.54 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.68 by ($0.14). AstraZeneca had a return on equity of 37.23% and a net margin of 9.65%. The company had revenue of $7.41 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $6.98 billion. As a group, equities analysts predict that AstraZeneca PLC will post 2 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a semi-annual dividend, which was paid on Monday, March 29th. Shareholders of record on Friday, February 26th were paid a $0.95 dividend. This represents a yield of 2.7%. This is a boost from AstraZeneca’s previous semi-annual dividend of $0.45. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, February 25th. AstraZeneca’s payout ratio is presently 106.29%.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD lifted its holdings in shares of AstraZeneca by 18.8% in the fourth quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 18,596,691 shares of the company’s stock valued at $929,649,000 after purchasing an additional 2,946,561 shares in the last quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of AstraZeneca by 2.9% in the fourth quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC now owns 17,850,774 shares of the company’s stock valued at $892,360,000 after purchasing an additional 508,094 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of AstraZeneca by 73.7% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 12,062,631 shares of the company’s stock valued at $603,010,000 after purchasing an additional 5,116,892 shares in the last quarter. Winslow Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of AstraZeneca by 9.0% in the fourth quarter. Winslow Capital Management LLC now owns 6,347,649 shares of the company’s stock valued at $317,318,000 after purchasing an additional 525,113 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its holdings in shares of AstraZeneca by 4.4% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 3,537,677 shares of the company’s stock valued at $176,848,000 after purchasing an additional 149,386 shares in the last quarter. 15.57% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

AstraZeneca Company Profile (NASDAQ:AZN)

AstraZeneca PLC discovers, develops, manufactures, and commercializes prescription medicines in the areas of oncology, cardiovascular, renal and metabolism, respiratory, infection, neuroscience, and gastroenterology worldwide. The company's marketed products include Tagrisso, Lynparza, Imfinzi, Enhertu, Koselugo, Lumoxiti, Equidacent, Zoladex, Faslodex, Iressa, Arimidex, Casodex/Cosudex, and others for oncology diseases; Onglyza, Bydureon, Lokelma, Byetta, Qtern, Symlin, and others for cardiovascular, renal, and metabolism diseases; and Symbicort, Pulmicort, Fasenra, Daliresp/Daxas, Duaklir, Tudorza/Eklira, Bevespi, Breztri, Anifrolumab, and others for respiratory and immunology diseases.

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