AstraZeneca Stock Down On Q3 Loss; Maintains FY21 View

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Shares of AstraZeneca Plc were losing around 4 percent in the morning trade in London as well as in pre-market activity on Nasdaq after the British drug maker reported Friday a loss in its third quarter, despite strong growth in revenues.

Looking ahead, the covid vaccine maker said its earnings guidance for the full year 2021 remains unchanged. The earlier outlook excluded the revenue and profit impact of sales of the pandemic vaccine. The company is now expecting to progressively transition the vaccine to modest profitability as new orders are received.

In the fourth quarter, COVID-19 vaccine sales are expected to be a blend of the original pandemic agreements and new orders, with the large majority coming from pandemic agreements.

For fiscal 2021, the company continues to project growth in core earnings per share to $5.05 to $5.40. Total revenue excluding the COVID-19 vaccine is still expected to grow by a low-twenties percentage. Including vaccine revenues in the fourth quarter, revenue is expected to grow by a mid-to-high twenties percentage.

Pascal Soriot, Chief Executive Officer, said, "Our broad portfolio of medicines and diversified geographic exposure provides a robust platform for long-term sustainable growth. Following accelerated investment in upcoming launches after positive data flow, we expect a solid finish to the year and our earnings guidance is unchanged."

For the third quarter, loss before tax was $2 billion, compared to last year's profit of $853 million. Loss per share was $1.10, compared to profit of $0.49 a year ago.

Core earnings per share were $1.08. The company noted that the impact of pandemic vaccine on earnings per share was $0.01.

EBITDA declined 6 percent to $5.69 billion.

Total revenue in the third quarter increased 50 percent to $9.87 billion from last year's $6.58 billion. The revenues grew 48 percent at constant exchange rates. Revenues from COVID-19 vaccine in the quarter were $1.05 billion.

Excluding the pandemic COVID-19 vaccine, total revenue increased 34 percent on a reported basis and 32 percent at CER in the quarter to $8.82 billion.

Product sales climbed 49 percent from last year to $9.74 billion.

In London, AstraZeneca shares were trading at 9,046 pence, down 4.2 percent. In pre-market activity on Nasdaq, shares were losing around 3.8 percent to trade at $60.56.

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