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AstraZeneca Misses Q3 Earnings Consensus, Expects COVID-19 Vaccine Trial Results This Year

AstraZeneca Misses Q3 Earnings Consensus, Expects COVID-19 Vaccine Trial Results This Year

Bloomberg reported Thursday that AstraZeneca Plc (NASDAQ: AZN) missed earnings expectations in the third quarter of 2020. The Cambridge headquartered biopharma company reported $6.6 billion in revenues and a core diluted EPS of $0.94.

Key Q3 Highlights: Despite the tailwinds from the AZD1222 Covid-19 vaccine, AstraZeneca faced setbacks during the quarter with a 4% increase in core operating expenses. The company attributed the increase to higher logistics costs and distribution expenses related to the pandemic.

Non-Covid patients forced to postpone treatments and surgeries, along with a reduced number of doctors and outpatient visits, also impacted revenues — Bloomberg. Market peers Novo Nordisk A/S (NYSE: NVO) and Novartis AG (NYSE: NVS) too faced disruptions of a similar nature.

Quarterly demographic revenue split shows U.S. and China generated 55% of AstraZeneca’s revenues collectively.

The oncology department was the key revenue driver with a 43% share, followed by the new Cardiovascular Renal & Metabolism, and Respiratory & Immunology accounting for an 18% share each. 

Outlook: AstraZeneca has reiterated guidance for the full year 2020. The management estimates the revenue growth rate in the range of higher single-digit and low double-digit and EPS growth between mid-to-high teens percentage.

COVID-19 Vaccine: AstraZeneca’s AZD1222 clinical trials have enrolled approximately 23,000 volunteers across the U.S., the U.K., Brazil, and South Africa. The company developing the vaccine in collaboration with the University of Oxford, and the much-anticipated trial results could be out later this year, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The trials were halted temporarily in many countries; however, the drug was fast-tracked for review by the European Union. 

The FDA completed the AZD1222 review in the third week of October and permitted AstraZeneca to resume trails.

Price Action: AZN shares are higher by 1.71% to $55.98 in the pre-market session on the last check Thursday.


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