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Why Invest In AstraZeneca PLC (AZN) Stock?

AstraZeneca PLC (NASDAQ:AZN) has a beta value of 0.55 and has seen 3.64 million shares traded in the recent trading session. The company, currently valued at $214.35B, closed the recent trade at $65.96 per share which meant it lost -$1.65 on the day or -2.45% during that session. The AZN stock price is -9.34% off its 52-week high price of $72.12 and 20.18% above the 52-week low of $52.65. If we look at the company’s 10-day average daily trading volume, we find that it stood at 6.34 million shares traded. The 3-month trading volume is 4.97 million shares.

The consensus among analysts is that AstraZeneca PLC (AZN) is a Buy stock at the moment, with a recommendation rating of 2.00. 0 analysts rate the stock as a Sell, while 2 rate it as Overweight. 6 out of 30 have rated it as a Hold, with 22 advising it as a Buy. 0 have rated the stock as Underweight. The expected earnings per share for the stock is $0.72.

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AstraZeneca PLC (NASDAQ:AZN) trade information

Sporting -2.45% in the red today, the stock has traded in the red over the last five days, with the highest price hit on Monday, 01/23/23 when the AZN stock price touched $65.96 or saw a rise of 8.31%. Year-to-date, AstraZeneca PLC shares have moved -0.28%, while the 5-day performance has seen it change -4.88%. Over the past 30 days, the shares of AstraZeneca PLC (NASDAQ:AZN) have changed -0.16%. Short interest in the company has seen 5.76 million shares shorted with days to cover at 0.8.

Wall Street analysts have a consensus price target for the stock at $77.60, which means that the shares’ value could jump 15.0% from the levels at last check today. The projected low price target is $60.46 while the price target rests at a high of $105.34. In that case, then, we find that the latest price level in today’s session is -59.7% off the targeted high while a plunge would see the stock lose 8.34% from the levels at last check today.

AstraZeneca PLC (AZN) estimates and forecasts

Figures show that AstraZeneca PLC shares have outperformed across the wider relevant industry. The company’s shares have gained 3.62% over the past 6 months, with this year growth rate of 25.66%, compared to 10.20% for the industry. Other than that, the company has, however, increased its growth outlook for the 2023 fiscal year revenue. Growth estimates for the current quarter are 33.30% and -15.50% for the next quarter. Revenue growth from the last financial year stood is estimated to be 18.50%.

3 analysts offering their estimates for the company have set an average revenue estimate of $10.9 billion for the current quarter. 3 have an estimated revenue figure of $11.39 billion for the next quarter concluding in Dec 2022. Year-ago sales stood $9.87 billion and $12.01 billion respectively for this quarter and the next, and analysts expect sales will grow by 10.50% for the current quarter and -5.20% for the next.

If we evaluate the company’s growth over the last 5-year and for the next 5-year period, we find that annual earnings growth was -50.90% over the past 5 years. Earnings growth for 2023 is a modest -96.80% while over the next 5 years, the company’s earnings are expected to increase by 16.00%.

AZN Dividends

AstraZeneca PLC is expected to release its next earnings report in February this year, and investors are excited at the prospect of better dividends despite the company’s debt issue. The forward dividend is 1.45 at a share yield of 2.14%. The company’s dividend yield has gone up over the past 12 months.

AstraZeneca PLC (NASDAQ:AZN)’s Major holders

Insiders own 0.05% of the company shares, while shares held by institutions stand at 18.45% with a share float percentage of 18.46%. Investors are also buoyed by the number of investors in a company, with AstraZeneca PLC having a total of 1,201 institutions that hold shares in the company. The top two institutional holders are Price (T.Rowe) Associates Inc with over 85.92 million shares worth more than $5.68 billion. As of Jun 29, 2022, Price (T.Rowe) Associates Inc held 3.27% of shares outstanding.

The other major institutional holder is Wellington Management Group, LLP, with the holding of over 48.3 million shares as of Jun 29, 2022. The firm’s total holdings are worth over $3.19 billion and represent 1.84% of shares outstanding.

Also the top two Mutual Funds that are holding company’s shares are Vanguard/Primecap Fund and Washington Mutual Investors Fund. As of Jun 29, 2022, the former fund manager holds about 0.99% shares in the company for having 25.9 million shares of worth $1.71 billion while later fund manager owns 23.54 million shares of worth $1.29 billion as of Sep 29, 2022, which makes it owner of about 0.90% of company’s outstanding stock.

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