AstraZeneca 2018 Guidance May Disappoint -- Earnings Review
By Carlo Martuscelli
AstraZeneca PLC (AZN.LN) reported fourth-quarter results on Friday morning, where the upbeat pronouncements of the CEO about improved revenues did little to avoid a 1% drop in share price.
REVENUE: AstraZeneca' reported top-line figure of $5.78 billion beat analyst expectations of $5.47 billion according to a consensus forecast provided by FactSet, and increased 3.4% on the year before.
PRETAX INCOME: The pharmaceutical company posted a pretax profit of $407 million, missing the $552 million mark predicted by analysts.
COMPETITION: Deutsche Bank saw product sales as largely staying flat in the fourth quarter, with pressure from generic drugs easing. AstraZeneca said that product sales were up 4.3% to $4.49 billion. Deutsche's prediction of solid growth for its Brilinta drug was borne out by the numbers, with sales up 27% to $299 million versus the bank's prediction of $302 million.
OUTLOOK: Analysts at Deutsche Bank will be disappointed to see Astra guiding for "a low single-digit percentage increase" in product sales at constant exchange rate in 2018, which doesn't seem quite as optimistic as the bank's 5% forecast.
Berenberg says that the company's core EPS guidance of $3.30-$3.50 is 3% below expectations at the mid-point.
Write to Carlo Martuscelli at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
February 02, 2018 06:01 ET (11:01 GMT)Copyright (c) 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.