AstraZeneca Q3 Profit Surges, Backs FY20 View; EU Approves Forxiga, Lynparza

British drug major AstraZeneca Plc. reported Thursday that its third-quarter profit more than doubled from last year, benefited by higher product sales mainly in Oncology.

Looking ahead for fiscal 2020, the company maintained full-year guidance, and continues to expect core earnings per share to grow by a mid- to high-teens percentage and total revenue to increase by a high single-digit to a low double-digit percentage, at constant exchange rates.

In separate developments, the European Union has approved AstraZeneca’s Forxiga (dapagliflozin) for the treatment of symptomatic chronic heart failure with reduced ejection fraction or HFrEF in adults with and without type-2 diabetes.

The EU also granted approval for Lynparza (olaparib), jointly developed by AstraZeneca and Merck & Co., Inc., for treating prostate cancer as well as Ovarian cancer.

In the fight against COVID-19, Pascal Soriot, Chief Executive Officer, said, “… we advanced our vaccine collaboration with the University of Oxford and are launching Phase III trials for our long-acting antibody combination for the prophylaxis and treatment against COVID-19 for people who need an immediate defence or whose weaker immune systems mean they are less likely to benefit from a vaccine.”

In its third quarter, AstraZeneca reported that profit before tax more than doubled to $853 million from last year’s $409 million. Profit after tax was $651 million, up from $280 million a year ago. Earnings per share grew to $0.49 from $0.23 last year.

Core earnings per share were $0.94, down 4 percent from last year. Core gross profit margin in the third quarter of 79 percent was unchanged versus the prior year.

Total revenue increased 3 percent to $6.58 billion from prior year’s $6.41 billion. Product sales increased 6 percent to $6.52 billion.

Total revenue was in line with expectations and the operating performance continued to improve.

The results reflected further success in Oncology and an acceleration in the progress of Farxiga, which is expanding its potential beyond diabetes and heart failure with ground-breaking new data in chronic kidney disease.

In London, AstraZeneca shares were trading at 8,554 pence, up 0.51 percent.

In pre-market activity on Nasdaq, AstraZeneca shares gained 1 percent to trade at $55.59, following a 7 percent increase in previous day’s close.

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