Heavy Early Morning Activity On AstraZeneca (AZN)

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

Trade-Ideas LLC identified AstraZeneca ( AZN) as a pre-market mover with heavy volume candidate. In addition to specific proprietary factors, Trade-Ideas identified AstraZeneca as such a stock due to the following factors:

  • AZN has an average dollar-volume (as measured by average daily share volume multiplied by share price) of $158.6 million.
  • AZN traded 1.2 million shares today in the pre-market hours as of 8:48 AM, representing 52.3% of its average daily volume.

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More details on AZN:

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 stock currently has a dividend yield of 4.2%. AZN has a PE ratio of 13.3. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate AstraZeneca a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

The average volume for AstraZeneca has been 2.2 million shares per day over the past 30 days. AstraZeneca has a market cap of $83.4 billion and is part of the health care sector and drugs industry. Shares are up 13.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreetRatings.com Analysis:

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates AstraZeneca as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.45, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels.
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, AZN's share price has jumped by 47.25%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Looking ahead, the stock's sharp rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
  • ASTRAZENECA PLC has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past two years. However, we anticipate this trend to reverse over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, ASTRAZENECA PLC reported lower earnings of $2.04 versus $4.94 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.48 versus $2.04).
  • AZN, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 3.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 2.5%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $2,478.00 million or 12.99% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow ASTRAZENECA PLC is still fairing well by exceeding its industry average cash flow growth rate of -47.91%.

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