Why AstraZeneca (AZN) Stock Is Higher Today

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of AstraZeneca PLC  (AZN) are higher by 1.98% to $75.71 in mid-morning trading on Friday, as speculation stirs suggesting Pfizer Inc. (PFE) might resume takeover discussions, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The pharmaceutical company rejected the $120 billion bid Pfizer made back in May.

Additionally, shares of AstraZeneca may be getting a boost after the company moved its immune-oncology medicine MEDI-4736 into a mid-stage study of colorectal cancer, Reuters reports.STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

The medicine is designed to fight tumors and will be tested in 48 patients with the advanced disease.

Separately, 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 several positive factors, 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, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 4.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 7.3%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.46, 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 46.55%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, AZN should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $2,079.00 million or 29.45% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -1.19%.
  • The gross profit margin for ASTRAZENECA PLC is currently very high, coming in at 91.52%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 11.57% trails the industry average.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: AZN Ratings Report

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