AstraZeneca Raises Outlook

The company posts a drop in second-quarter profit, however.
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second-quarter profit fell 14%, but the British drugmaker raised its outlook for the year.

The company earned $666 million, or 39 cents a share, for the quarter, compared with $775 million, or 45 cents a share, in the same quarter last year. Quarterly revenue rose 2.9% from last year's $4.31 billion, to $4.44 billion.

Consensus estimates for the company's second-quarter earnings provided by Thomson First Call were 33 cents a share.

"As a result of this strong sales performance and prospects for the rest of the year, we have raised our earnings target for the year to the range of $1.65 to $1.75 per share," Chief Executive Tom McKillop said in a statement.

While sales of Prilosec, Zestril and Nolvadex fell by $1.2 billion in the first half of the year, global sales of the company's 10 recently launched growth products, now comprising 40% of overall sales, increased to 48% or $3.7 billion.

Shares of AstraZeneca were up 66 cents, or 1.6%, to $41.01 at midday Thursday.