Shares of pharmaceutical player AstraZeneca pls (AZN) were moving modestly higher this morning by 0.53% to $30.43 a share on heavy volume. Volume so far during this trading session has registered more than 6.34 million shares, which is above its three-month average action of 4.92 million shares.
Shares of AstraZeneca were down sharply lower last Thursday by close to 15%, tagging its lowest level in five months after a disappointing drug trial. The company reported disappointing results from a phase III study evaluating Imfinzi combination therapy for first-line lung cancer.
The sharp drop for AstraZeneca prompted one of its largest shareholders, fund manager Neil Woodford, to pen a blog piece defending the stock. Woodford said, "The investment case for AstraZeneca is about so much more than this one trial. Across a broad spread of disease areas, the company is developing new groundbreaking therapies which have significant commercial potential."
- AstraZeneca Gets Breakthrough Designation For Imfinzi Following Pacific Trial
- Cancer Rival's Immuno-oncology Flop Leaves Bristol-Myers Looks Less Enticing to Suitors
Considering those comments from Woodford, let's turn to the chart for AstraZeneca and see if a buying opportunity is flashing here. If you take a look at the chart, you'll notice that shares of AstraZeneca gap-down sharply last Thursday from around $34 to just under $29 with heavy downside volume flows. That sharp move lower caused the stock to close back below both its 20-day and 200-day moving averages.
That said, on Friday the stock rebounded with strong volume and managed to close back above its 200-day moving average of $29.90 a share and back above its gap-down-day high from Thursday at around $29 a share. This high-volume rebound is now quickly pushing this stock within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade above some key overhead resistance levels.