Cholesterol damage: AstraZeneca's revenue hurt by new US market competition

William Turvill
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AstraZeneca's first quarter results were broadly in-line with analyst expectations (Source: Getty)

Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca today reported a fall in revenue driven by increased competition in the US cholesterol-fighting market.

But, despite the fall, which was in-line with expectations, its share price jumped seven per cent to 5,021p.

The figures

Total revenue in the three months to 30 June was $5.6bn (£4.2bn), down 11 per cent on the same period last year.

Its reported operating profit, meanwhile, was $303m, down 67 per cent year on year.

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And its reported earnings per share were down 31 per cent to $0.83.

The firm also today announced an unchanged interim dividend of $0.90 per share.

AstraZeneca’s share price went up around one per cent to 4,742p after it reported the first-quarter results on Thursday morning.

28 July 2016 @ 4:00pmAstraZeneca (AZN)

Why it’s interesting

The pharma giant said its product sales decline – five per cent to $5.5bn – was driven by the US market entry of generic competition for its cholesterol fighter Crestol.

AstraZeneca reported results broadly in line with analyst expectations.

Thomson Reuters had expected a quarterly revenue of $5.6bn and earnings per share of $0.84.

Shorecap analysts Tara Raveendran and Adam Barker said in a note on Thursday morning: “A reassuring set of results from AstraZeneca, but we continue to see the financials as secondary to the primary focus, which is pipeline progress as Astra works through its earnings trough.”

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What the company said

Chief executive Pascal Soriot:

Our performance in the first half was in line with expectations, reflecting the anticipated near-term patent expiry challenges and the phasing of externalisation revenue in 2016. Our growth platforms continued to advance and made up over 60% of total revenue. Importantly, our transformed pipeline is advancing quickly and delivering a rich flow of differentiated medicines, boding well for our return to growth.

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