NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of AstraZeneca (AZN) are slightly higher in pre-market trade after the U.S. Justice Department cleared the biopharmaceutical company over a major clinical trial used to win marketing approval for its important new heart drug Brilinta, following an investigation which had cast a shadow over its prospects, Reuters reports.
The company said the government was closing its investigation into the 18,000-patient study and no further action was planned.
AstraZeneca views Brilinta as a potential $3.5 billion-a-year seller, but news last October that the DOJ was quizzing the company about the way it conducted the trial raised doubts over its medical value, causing sales growth to stall, Reuters noted.
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TheStreet Ratings team rates ASTRAZENECA PLC as a Buy with a ratings score of B-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate ASTRAZENECA PLC (AZN) a BUY. This is driven by multiple strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, expanding profit margins and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."