AstraZeneca PLC (AZN) looking to reclaim success with recent performance

AstraZeneca PLC (NASDAQ: AZN) stock fell -0.23% on Friday to $56.31 against a previous-day closing price of $56.44. With 7.52 million shares changed hands, the volume of the stock remained heavier than its average volume of 6.24 million shares. During the session, the Drug Manufacturers – General company that operates in wider Healthcare sector, reached to the highest price of $56.54 whereas the lowest price it dropped to was $55.79. The 52-week range on AZN shows that it touched its highest point at $71.70 and its lowest point at $53.63 during that stretch. It currently has a 1-year price target of $73.38. With its current market cap of 175.63 billion, AZN has annualized dividend of $1.90 while the current yield stands at 3.37%. Beta for the stock currently stands at 0.46.

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Price Performance and Earnings:

Stock performance is one of the indicators that investors use to determine whether they will profit from a stock. The price performance of AZN was down-trending over the past week, with a drop of -3.15%, but this was down by -15.23% over a month. Three-month performance dropped to -12.63% while six-month performance fell -12.45%. The stock lost -4.14% in the past year, while it has lost -3.33% so far this year. A look at the trailing 12-month EPS for AZN yields -0.42 with Next year EPS estimates of 3.64. For the next quarter, that number is 0.71. This implies an EPS growth rate of -96.80% for this year and 10.64% for next year. EPS is expected to grow by 14.30% annually over the next five years; however, over the past five years, the company experienced an annual growth rate of -50.90%.

Float and Shares Shorts:

At present, 3.10 billion AZN shares are outstanding with a float of 2.99 billion shares on hand for trading. On Jul 14, 2022, short shares totaled 13.67 million, which was 0.44% higher than short shares on Jun 14, 2022. In addition to Mr. Pascal Soriot D.V.M., M.B.A. as the firm’s CEO & Exec. Director, Dr. Aradhana Sarin M.D. serves as its CFO & Exec. Director.

Institutional Ownership:

Through their ownership of 17.84% of AZN’s outstanding shares, institutional investors have minority control over the company. Other institutions hold 9.99% of AZN, in contrast to 7.52% held by mutual funds. Shares owned by individuals account for –. As the largest shareholder in AZN with 2.77% of the stake, T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. holds 85,919,796 shares worth 85,919,796. A second-largest stockholder of AZN, Wellington Management Co. LLP, holds 48,297,922 shares, controlling over 1.56% of the firm’s shares. PRIMECAP Management Co. is the third largest shareholder in AZN, holding 45,813,820 shares or 1.48% stake. With a 0.84% stake in AZN, the Vanguard PRIMECAP Fund is the largest stakeholder. A total of 25,900,088 shares are owned by the mutual fund manager. The Washington Mutual Investors Fund, which owns about 0.72% of AZN stock, is the second-largest Mutual Fund holder. It holds 22,417,181 shares valued at 1.4 billion. Vanguard Wellington Fund holds 0.51% of the stake in AZN, owning 15,874,492 shares worth 990.25 million.

Analysts Ratings:

Reading analyst opinions is an effective way to decide where to invest, and there are several opinions available for AZN since 28 analysts follow the stock currently. There are 20 analysts who recommend BUY ratings, while 0 suggest SELL ratings. Of the remaining analysts, 5 believe that the stock is worth HOLDING, 3 give it an OVERWEIGHT rating, and 0 thinks that it’s UNDERWEIGHT. In the same way, a target price assigned to a stock can also reveal much about its potential. With AZN analysts setting a high price target of $101.36 and a low target of $56.57, the average target price over the next 12 months is $72.36. Based on these targets, AZN could surge 80.0% to reach the target high and rise by 0.46% to reach the target low. Reaching the average price target will result in a growth of 28.5% from current levels.

EPS: Estimates vs Actual

It is also common to use earnings estimates to evaluate a firm’s growth potential and to determine trading strategy. AZN will report FY 2022 earnings on 02/02/2023. Analysts have provided yearly estimates in a range of $3.57 being high and $2.96 being low. For AZN, this leads to a yearly average estimate of $3.31. The earnings surprise of a firm occurs when the actual results change from the consensus earnings estimate. AstraZeneca PLC surprised analysts by $0.08 when it reported $0.86 EPS against a consensus estimate of $0.78. The surprise factor in the prior quarter was $0.10. Based on analyst estimates, the high estimate for the next quarter is $0.82 and the low estimate is $0.71. The average estimate for the next quarter is thus $0.77.

Dividends & Yield:

In terms of dividends, AZN has a current ratio of $1.45, which is $1.45 over the trailing 12-months, while a dividend of $1.40 is likely to be paid on average over the next five years. Dividend yield is another indicator that appeals to many investors, and AZN currently yields $2.58. In the past year, AZN’s dividend yield has been $2.58, but when looking at the stock over the past five years, its yield has been $3.06. Accordingly, AZN has a current buyback yield of $0.51. This was $0.51 for the TTM.

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