AstraZeneca PLC (NASDAQ:AZN – Get Free Report) was the target of some unusual options trading on Tuesday. Stock investors acquired 30,334 put options on the company. This is an increase of 75% compared to the average volume of 17,294 put options.
Institutional Inflows and Outflows
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in AZN. Capital International Investors lifted its position in shares of AstraZeneca by 0.6% during the 2nd quarter. Capital International Investors now owns 38,339,765 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,740,406,000 after buying an additional 211,055 shares during the period. Jennison Associates LLC lifted its holdings in shares of AstraZeneca by 34.7% during the second quarter. Jennison Associates LLC now owns 21,807,209 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,560,742,000 after acquiring an additional 5,617,054 shares during the period. GQG Partners LLC boosted its stake in shares of AstraZeneca by 25.3% in the 1st quarter. GQG Partners LLC now owns 21,545,387 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,495,465,000 after purchasing an additional 4,348,916 shares in the last quarter. Morgan Stanley increased its position in shares of AstraZeneca by 18.0% during the 4th quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 10,222,597 shares of the company’s stock worth $693,092,000 after purchasing an additional 1,561,194 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bank of America Corp DE lifted its holdings in AstraZeneca by 5.2% during the 1st quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 10,179,720 shares of the company’s stock valued at $706,574,000 after purchasing an additional 499,916 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 15.68% of the company’s stock.
Wall Street Analysts Forecast Growth
A number of analysts have recently weighed in on AZN shares. StockNews.com began coverage on shares of AstraZeneca in a research note on Wednesday, August 23rd. They issued a “strong-buy” rating for the company. Argus decreased their price target on shares of AstraZeneca from $85.00 to $80.00 in a report on Friday, May 26th. HSBC started coverage on AstraZeneca in a research note on Friday, July 14th. They issued a “buy” rating on the stock. UBS Group upgraded AstraZeneca from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 12th. Finally, Erste Group Bank reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of AstraZeneca in a research report on Friday, September 8th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, four have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. According to MarketBeat, AstraZeneca presently has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average price target of $103.00.
AstraZeneca Stock Performance
AZN stock traded down $0.79 during trading on Tuesday, reaching $65.84. 1,588,473 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 4,845,311. The stock has a 50 day simple moving average of $68.66 and a 200-day simple moving average of $71.11. The company has a current ratio of 0.87, a quick ratio of 0.67 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.65. The company has a market capitalization of $204.09 billion, a P/E ratio of 33.48, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.36 and a beta of 0.50. AstraZeneca has a twelve month low of $52.65 and a twelve month high of $76.56.
AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN – Get Free Report) last released its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $1.08 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.97 by $0.11. The business had revenue of $11.42 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $11.06 billion. AstraZeneca had a return on equity of 30.39% and a net margin of 13.86%. As a group, sell-side analysts anticipate that AstraZeneca will post 3.66 earnings per share for the current year.
AstraZeneca Cuts Dividend
The firm also recently announced a semi-annual dividend, which was paid on Monday, September 11th. Investors of record on Friday, August 11th were paid a $0.465 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, August 10th. This represents a yield of 2%. AstraZeneca’s payout ratio is currently 45.73%.
AstraZeneca Company Profile
AstraZeneca PLC, a biopharmaceutical company, focuses on the discovery, development, manufacture, and commercialization of prescription medicines. The company's marketed products include Calquence, Enhertu, Faslodex, Imfinzi, Iressa, Koselugo, Lumoxiti, Lynparza, Orpathys, Tagrisso, and Zoladex for oncology; Andexxa/Ondexxya, Atacand, Atacand HCT, Atacand Plus, Brilinta/Brilique, Bydureon/Byetta, BCise, Byetta, Crestor, Evrenzo, Farxiga/Forxiga, Komboglyze/Kombiglyze XR, Lokelma, Onglyza, Qtern, Xigduo/Xigduo, and Zestril XR for cardiovascular, renal, and metabolism diseases; Accolate, Accoleit, Vanticon, Bevespi Aerosphere, Breztri Aerosphere, Bricanyl Respules and Turbuhaler, Daliresp/Daxas, Duaklir Genuair, Fasenra, Pulmicort, Rhinocort, Saphnelo, Symbicort, and Tezspire for respiratory and immunology; and Kanuma, Soliris, Strensiq, and Ultomiris for rare diseases.
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