Investors purchased shares of Astrazeneca PLC (NYSE:AZN) on weakness during trading hours on Thursday. $81.84 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $13.22 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $68.62 million into the stock. Of all equities tracked, Astrazeneca PLC had the 5th highest net in-flow for the day. Astrazeneca PLC traded down ($0.12) for the day and closed at $34.23

Several research analysts have commented on AZN shares. Investec upgraded shares of Astrazeneca PLC from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 9th. Piper Jaffray Companies restated a “buy” rating on shares of Astrazeneca PLC in a research report on Wednesday, August 9th. Argus restated a “buy” rating and issued a $35.00 target price on shares of Astrazeneca PLC in a research report on Friday, September 1st. Natixis upgraded shares of Astrazeneca PLC from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 6th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein restated a “buy” rating on shares of Astrazeneca PLC in a research report on Friday, September 22nd. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and fourteen have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $34.35.

The company’s 50 day moving average is $31.89 and its 200-day moving average is $32.14. The firm has a market capitalization of $86.75 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.47 and a beta of 0.76. Astrazeneca PLC also saw some unusual options trading activity on Wednesday. Stock investors purchased 8,259 put options on the stock. This is an increase of approximately 1,510% compared to the typical daily volume of 513 put options.

Astrazeneca PLC (NYSE:AZN) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The company reported $0.87 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.41 by $0.46. The company had revenue of $5.05 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.04 billion. Astrazeneca PLC had a net margin of 17.80% and a return on equity of 35.90%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 9.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.83 EPS. On average, equities research analysts predict that Astrazeneca PLC will post $1.91 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a None dividend, which was paid on Monday, September 11th. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 11th were paid a $0.44 dividend. This represents a dividend yield of 2.98%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 9th. Astrazeneca PLC’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 44.92%.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Bank of America Corp DE boosted its stake in shares of Astrazeneca PLC by 29.5% in the 1st quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 45,744,976 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,424,498,000 after purchasing an additional 10,414,969 shares during the last quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Astrazeneca PLC by 476.9% in the 2nd quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC now owns 11,081,856 shares of the company’s stock valued at $377,780,000 after purchasing an additional 9,160,764 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Astrazeneca PLC by 287,844.0% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 6,910,657 shares of the company’s stock valued at $215,198,000 after purchasing an additional 6,908,257 shares during the last quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA boosted its stake in shares of Astrazeneca PLC by 3.6% in the 2nd quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 4,484,770 shares of the company’s stock valued at $152,885,000 after purchasing an additional 156,256 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Ameriprise Financial Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Astrazeneca PLC by 5.9% in the 2nd quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 2,827,262 shares of the company’s stock valued at $96,789,000 after purchasing an additional 157,293 shares during the last quarter. 14.17% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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About Astrazeneca PLC

AstraZeneca PLC (AstraZeneca) is a biopharmaceutical company. The Company focuses on discovery and development of products, which are then manufactured, marketed and sold. The Company focuses on three main therapy areas: Oncology, Cardiovascular & Metabolic Disease (CVMD) and Respiratory, while selectively pursuing therapies in Autoimmunity, Infection and Neuroscience.

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