AstraZeneca

Dividend Yield: 7.50%

AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.50%.

AstraZeneca PLC engages in the discovery, development, and commercialization of prescription medicines for cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, neuroscience, infection, oncology, and respiratory and inflammation diseases worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.18.

The average volume for AstraZeneca has been 2,219,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. AstraZeneca has a market cap of $63.3 billion and is part of the drugs industry. Shares are up 8% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates AstraZeneca as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels, growth in earnings per share and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The stock has risen over the past year as investors have generally rewarded the company for its earnings growth and other positive factors like the ones we have cited in this report. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.43, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.14, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • ASTRAZENECA PLC has improved earnings per share by 8.0% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, ASTRAZENECA PLC reported lower earnings of $4.98 versus $7.27 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($5.53 versus $4.98).
  • The gross profit margin for ASTRAZENECA PLC is currently very high, coming in at 92.00%. Regardless of AZN's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, AZN's net profit margin of 21.19% compares favorably to the industry average.

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Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.
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