Earnings Made Easy: AstraZeneca plc

AstraZeneca  (NYSE: AZN  ) has been in the news all this week, first with the rumored potential buyout by Pfizer surfacing over the weekend, and now with its first quarter earnings release.

Revenue was up about 3% in constant currencies, although earnings per share collapsed by 50%. Diabetes drugs Byetta and Bydureon posted 86% and 196% sales growth in constant currencies, respectively, and respiratory drugs Symbicort and Pulmicort successfully grew sales by 13% each. Crestor and Nexium both face patent expirations in 2016, and Crestor faces competition from generic versions of Pfizer's blockbuster Lipitor.

Perhaps most positively, there are a number of oncology, asthma, and psoriatic arthritis drugs moving into phase 3 trials, so there is certainly some potential growth if those drugs successfully make it to market. Additionally, AstraZeneca is considering selling (or finding a partner for) its anti-infective and neuroscience businesses, with a potentially big price tag and payoff for the company.

In Thursday's edition of Market Checkup, Motley Fool health care analysts David Williamson and Michael Douglass break down the earnings report and what to watch moving forward.

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