This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

AstraZeneca's Prescription for Growth

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Given the Street's insatiable appetite for growth, it's quite surprising that "Big Pharma" stocks have performed as well as they have. And when you factor in uncertainties with eroding pipelines and patent expirations, drug stocks don't appear healthy. And to say nothing about the federal restrictions that will be imposed by Obamacare.

AstraZeneca (AZN - Get Report) just might be the exception to its rivals that sell at premium but don't deliver a bargain. Unlike several of its peers that have under-invested in their product pipelines, AstraZeneca has spent the past couple of years looking for ways to grow its lifeblood. The result? A stronger pulse. With the stock price up nearly 60% in 18 months, there's no denying management has found the right formula.

[Read: Why J.C. Penney Is Surging]

Investors are justifiably surprised by the stock's performance against severe headwinds. Along those lines, I don't even believe management has gotten the credit they deserve. The question now is, to what extent can AstraZeneca sustain this run in the face of growing competition from Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Merck (MRK).

CEO Pascal Soriot has shown more than enough times that he'll find an edge if one exists. Never shy about doing deals, three times last year Soriot pulled out his checkbook, spending roughly $1.5 billion in three separate acquisitions. When it comes to building for the future, AstraZeneca takes a backseat to no one. At the same time as it has also fought slowing growth with strategic cost-cutting measures.

The company will look to extend this winning streak when it reports fourth-quarter and full-year earnings results on Thursday. The Street will be looking for earnings-per-share of $1.22 on revenue of $6.91 billion, which represents a 5% year-over-year revenue decline. If you've been following the sector's performance over the past couple of quarters, you'll notice the revenue trend has been weak and growth has slowed. So that's not where the attention should be placed.

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AZN $28.96 0.00%
AAPL $93.74 0.00%
FB $117.58 0.00%
GOOG $693.01 0.00%
TSLA $240.76 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,773.64 -57.12 -0.32%
S&P 500 2,065.30 -10.51 -0.51%
NASDAQ 4,775.3580 -29.9330 -0.62%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs