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Why AstraZeneca Stock Is Sinking Today

By Keith Speights – Nov 12, 2021 at 2:20PM

Key Points

  • AstraZeneca's strong revenue growth easily beat analysts' consensus estimate.
  • However, the company posted a bottom-line loss when Wall Street had expected to see a profit.
  • AstraZeneca has several potential growth catalysts on the way.

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The drugmaker announced disappointing third-quarter earnings results.

What happened

Shares of AstraZeneca (AZN -0.70%) were down by 6.9% as of 1:52 p.m. EST Friday after the big drugmaker announced its third-quarter results.

AstraZeneca reported revenue of $9.9 billion for the quarter. This reflected a 50% year-over-year gain and easily topped the consensus Wall Street estimate of $9.4 billion. 

However, it posted a loss of $1.10 per share due to significantly higher expenses related to its acquisition of Alexion. The analysts' average estimate had been for earnings of $1.28 per share. 

A person with a syringe next to images of a globe, lines with arrows, and currency symbols.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

It's not surprising that the big pharma stock fell in the wake of its bottom-line miss. However, the long-term prospects for AstraZeneca are much more important than one disappointing quarter.

Several products in the company's lineup continue to deliver strong growth. AstraZeneca's oncology franchise is especially impressive, with sales of Tagrisso, Imfinzi, Lynparza, Calquence, and Enhertu picking up momentum.

The Alexion acquisition is also already contributing nicely to top-line growth. Although sales for the rare-disease drug Soliris are slipping a little, the increases for Ultomiris and Strensiq are more than offsetting those declines.  

Now what

AstraZeneca has had a bumpy ride with the roll-out of its COVID-19 vaccine. However, it expects to begin making a modest profit from the vaccine in the fourth quarter.

There are also several potential catalysts on the way. AstraZeneca hopes to win U.S. Emergency Use Authorization for AZD7442 as COVID-19 pre-exposure prophylaxis. It also anticipates other key regulatory decisions, including potential U.S. and European approval for asthma drug tezepelumab.

Keith Speights has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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