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Amid Few Catalysts, Jefferies Downgrades AstraZeneca

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Jefferies’ Jeffrey Holford downgraded the rating on AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE: AZN) from Buy to Hold, while lowering the price target from 4,900p to 4,350p.

Limited Catalysts In 2016

Holford believes that there are limited catalysts for the stock in 2016 that could drive multiple expansion sufficient for a Buy rating.

“We continue to see upside in the long term driven by the IO pipeline in particular, though the key confirmatory catalysts behind it may not be visible until 2017,” the analyst explained.

Related Link: In The Fight Against Cancer, Roche And AstraZeneca Are Looking At Trillions Of Bacteria That Live In The Body

Upside From Trial Data

Holford believes, however, that there could be some upside in 2016, primarily driven by the Phase III trial data for benralizumab in severe asthma, the U.S. approval and launch of ZS-9/ PT-003 and the Phase II HAWK trial data for durvalumab in 2L head and neck cancer.

At the same time, Holford cautioned that the Phase II HAWK trial data was “unlikely to be able to a drive fast-to-market filing and approval.”

“With some of the most significant stock catalysts not arriving until 2017 and less compelling earnings-based valuations than some of our more favoured stocks, we expect limited performance from AstraZeneca until Q4’16 at the very earliest and potentially not until H1’17 when the outlook could improve considerably in our view,” the analyst added.

Latest Ratings for AZN

DateFirmActionFromTo
Apr 2019DowngradesNeutralSell
Apr 2019UpgradesMarket PerformOutperform
Dec 2018Initiates Coverage OnBuy

View More Analyst Ratings for AZN
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Analyst Color Biotech Long Ideas Downgrades Health Care Price Target Markets Analyst Ratings

 

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