Shares of the pharma giant AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN) advanced in Thursday’s early trading hours on better-than-expected third-quarter results, fueled by cancer drugs sales. Further, the company lifted its full-year guidance on strong year-to-date business performance and 19 approvals bagged since the Q2 earnings call in July.
AZN stock gained more than 4% on NASDAQ in the pre-market trading session. Also, the stock is up 4.7% so far this year.
Adjusted earnings of $1.67 per share surpassed the analysts’ consensus estimate of $1.52 and increased 55% from the same quarter last year. Further, revenue climbed nearly 11% to $11 billion and beat the Street’s expectations of $10.8 billion.
The top-line growth can be attributed to a 24% rise in oncology portfolio revenue. However, the upside was partially offset by an 83% drop in sales of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine Vaxzevria.
Regarding updated guidance, AstraZeneca expects its adjusted EPS (at constant exchange rates) to increase by a high twenties to low thirties percentage, compared to the mid-to-high twenties percentage previously guided.
The company also announced that it will not submit a Biologics Licence Application for its COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. as the primary vaccination requirements of the country are already being met.
Is AstraZeneca Stock a Buy or Sell?
The average AstraZeneca price target of $75 implies upside potential of 22.85%. AZN stock has a Moderate Buy consensus rating based on one Buy.
For the U.K.-listed AstraZeneca (LSE:AZN) stock, analysts are cautiously optimistic, with a Moderate Buy consensus rating based on nine Buys and four Holds.