Exane BNP Paribas Initiates Coverage on AstraZeneca (AZN)

Exane BNP Paribas assumed coverage on shares of AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) in a report issued on Tuesday, February 5th, The Fly reports. The brokerage issued an outperform rating on the stock.

A number of other equities research analysts have also weighed in on AZN. BNP Paribas started coverage on shares of AstraZeneca in a report on Tuesday, February 5th. They issued an outperform rating on the stock. Zacks Investment Research downgraded AstraZeneca from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Tuesday, January 29th. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a buy rating and set a $48.00 price target on shares of AstraZeneca in a report on Tuesday, January 15th. ValuEngine downgraded AstraZeneca from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, January 15th. Finally, Bank of America reiterated a buy rating on shares of AstraZeneca in a report on Friday, December 14th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $45.50.

Shares of AZN stock traded up $0.18 during trading hours on Tuesday, reaching $41.76. The company had a trading volume of 4,589,971 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,765,077. AstraZeneca has a 12 month low of $33.05 and a 12 month high of $42.58. The company has a quick ratio of 0.78, a current ratio of 0.96 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.24. The firm has a market capitalization of $103.70 billion, a PE ratio of 12.07, a P/E/G ratio of 1.53 and a beta of 0.51.

AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, February 14th. The company reported $1.58 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.73 by $0.85. AstraZeneca had a return on equity of 32.47% and a net margin of 9.76%. The firm had revenue of $6.42 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $6.33 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.30 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 11.1% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that AstraZeneca will post 1.79 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a semiannual dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, March 27th. Investors of record on Friday, March 1st will be given a $0.95 dividend. This represents a yield of 4.64%. This is a positive change from AstraZeneca’s previous semiannual dividend of $0.45. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, February 28th. AstraZeneca’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 25.43%.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Berman Capital Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of AstraZeneca during the 4th quarter worth approximately $38,000. Portfolio Solutions LLC purchased a new position in AstraZeneca during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $40,000. Sontag Advisory LLC purchased a new position in AstraZeneca during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $40,000. CNB Bank increased its holdings in AstraZeneca by 245.0% during the fourth quarter. CNB Bank now owns 1,080 shares of the company’s stock valued at $41,000 after buying an additional 767 shares during the period. Finally, Loeb Partners Corp purchased a new position in AstraZeneca during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $46,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 17.56% of the company’s stock.

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca PLC discovers, develops, and commercializes prescription medicines for the treatment of oncology, cardiovascular and metabolic, respiratory, gastrointestinal, neuroscience, and infection diseases worldwide. Its marketed products include Arimidex, Casodex/Cosudex, Calquence, Faslodex, Imfinzi, Iressa, Lynparza, Nolvadex, Tagrisso, and Zoladex for oncology diseases; Atacand1/Atacand HCT/Atacand Plus, Brilinta/Brilique, Crestor2, Plendil, Seloken/Toprol-XL4, Tenormin5, and Zestril6 for cardiovascular diseases; and Bydureon, Byetta, Farxiga/Forxiga, Kombiglyze XR, Komboglyze, Onglyza, Qtern, Symlin, Xigduo, and Xigduo XR for metabolic diseases.

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