Home Mutual Funds AstraZeneca Revenue Hurt as Demand for COVID-19 Treatments Slumps; Stock Drops

AstraZeneca Revenue Hurt as Demand for COVID-19 Treatments Slumps; Stock Drops

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Key Takeaways

  • AstraZeneca PLC missed profit forecasts Thursday as its fourth-quarter sales were slowed by falling demand for COVID-19 vaccines and medicines.
  • The drug maker’s revenue was also negatively affected by generic competition in Japan for its Nexium acid reflux treatment.
  • AstraZeneca’s American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) dropped to their lowest level in 16 months after the earnings were released Thursday.

AstraZeneca PLC’s (AZN) American depositary receipts (ADRs) fell more than 4% Thursday after the drug maker reported its profit was hurt by falling demand for COVID-19 treatments.

The Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical firm reported fourth-quarter core earnings per share (EPS) of $1.45, short of forecasts. Revenue rose 7% to $12.02 billion, basically in line with analysts’ estimates.

For the full year, core EPS was $7.26, with revenue up 3% to $45.81 billion. The company noted that revenue was negatively affected by slumping sales of COVID-19 vaccines and immune therapies (V&I), which reduced the total by $3.74 billion.

Fourth-quarter V&I revenue plunged 64% to $413 million year-on-year (YOY) following “historic contracts” in 2022 for its Vaxzevria shot and monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) treatments. Sales of its “Other Medicines” category slipped 33% as its Nexium acid reflux pill faced generic competition in Japan.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Pascal Soriot remained optimistic, saying that the firm’s “differentiated and growing portfolio of approved medicines, global reach and rich R&D pipeline give us confidence that we will continue to deliver industry-leading growth.”

AstraZeneca sees full-year core EPS and revenue increasing by a low-double-digit to a low-teens percentage at constant exchange rates.

AstraZeneca ADRs were down 4.4% at $63.62 Thursday at around 1:45 p.m. ET. The stock, which fell as low as $61.70 earlier in the session, reached its lowest level since October 2022.

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