On Thursday, pharma giant AstraZeneca
For the second quarter, sales were up 10% year over year, but net income was down 10% on lower gross margins and higher expenses across the board. The results need to be looked at in an even harsher light considering that, unlike fellow British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline
AstraZeneca is still throwing off huge gobs of free cash flow -- $2.7 billion in just the first half of the year. It has used this cash to make dramatic corporate maneuvers like its $15 billion acquisition of MedImmune earlier in the year. The deal closed just last month, and AstraZeneca expects to be able to squeeze out $450 million in cost savings by 2009 from combining the two companies' operations.
AstraZeneca has somewhat become the redheaded stepchild of the large-cap pharma stocks. There are drugmakers with higher dividend yields, like Pfizer
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