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AstraZeneca Stock Down On Weak Q1 Profit; Backs FY22 View

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Shares of AstraZeneca PLC were losing more than 1 percent in London trading and around 2 percent in pre-market activity on Nasdaq after the British drug major reported Friday sharply lower profit in its first quarter, despite increased revenues.

Further, the company reiterated fiscal 2022 guidance at constant exchange rates. Core earnings per share is expected to increase by a mid-to-high twenties percentage. Total revenue is expected to increase by a high teens percentage. Total revenue from COVID-19 medicines is anticipated to decline by a low-to-mid twenties percentage, the company noted.

Total revenue from emerging markets, including China, is expected to grow mid-single-digits.

AstraZeneca also announced plans to open a new site at the heart of the Cambridge, Massachusetts, life sciences and innovation hub. The new site will be a strategic R&D centre for AstraZeneca, and Alexion's new corporate headquarters. It is scheduled for completion in 2026, and will bring together around 1,500 R&D, commercial and corporate colleagues.

Pascal Soriot, CEO, AstraZeneca, said, ""2022 has started strongly for AstraZeneca. Farxiga achieved $1bn revenue in the quarter and our Oncology medicines delivered Product Sales growth of 18%, despite COVID-19 continuing to impact cancer diagnosis and treatment."

For the first quarter, profit before tax fell 66 percent to $553 million from last year's $1.61 billion.

Profit after tax declined 75 percent to $388 million from $1.56 billion in the prior year. Earnings per share were $0.25, down 79 percent from $1.18 a year ago.

Core earnings per share were $1.89. Core operating profit was $3.96 billion, up 60 percent from prior year.

EBITDA, a key earnings metric, was down 19 percent from last year to $2.19 billion.

Total revenue increased 56 percent to $11.39 billion from last year's $7.32 billion. Revenues at constant currency rates climbed 60 percent.

The results reflected growth across the company, the contribution of the Alexion medicines and several Vaxzevria contracts that are expected to complete delivery by half year 2022

Product sales were $10.98 billion, up 51 percent on a reported basis and up 56 percent at constant currency rates.

Total revenue from Oncology increased 25 percent for the quarter. Product sales from Oncology increased 18 percent. The company recorded $1.69 billion from medicines acquired with Alexion.

In London, AstraZeneca shares were trading at 10,442 pence, down 1.14 percent.

In pre-market activity on Nasdaq, the shares were trading at $65.68, down 2.3 percent.

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