British drugmakerAstraZeneca (
) has turned the corner after seeing its earnings fall for five
In late July, the company delivered second-quarter earnings of
$1.30 a share, up 8% from a year ago. Profit fell 17% to 28% in
the prior five quarters. Sales rose 4% to more than $6.45
billion. Revenue had been flat to down 21% in the prior 10
The latest period's results were helped by solid sales of
AstraZeneca's Brilinta blood thinner, which jumped 84%. Its
diabetes franchise was also strong, thanks to diabetes drug
Farxiga's U.S. debut and assets bought fromBristol-Myers Squibb (
). The firm also noted strength in emerging markets, which saw an
11% rise in sales. Business in China increased 23%.
After rejecting a $118 billion takeover offer fromPfizer (
) in May, AstraZeneca has been busy with its own deals. Last
week, the company announced that it would buy Spanish firm
Almirall's respiratory drug franchise for $875 million up front,
plus up to $1.22 billion when certain targets are met. The deal
is expected to add to earnings in 2016.
Also in July, AstraZeneca inked partnerships with Roche
) to make diagnostic tests.
Unlike other companies, which pay dividends quarterly,
AstraZeneca pays shareholders only twice a year, in September and
March of the following year. Its second payment is bigger than
AstraZeneca has paid a $2.80 a share annual dividend in the
past three years. It has a yield of about 3.8%, the second
biggest in IBD's Medical-Ethical Drugs group.GlaxoSmithKline (
) offers the largest yield, around 5.4%.
After shooting out from an irregular consolidation in late
April, AstraZeneca has pulled back recently and appears to be
forming a new base. The stock has been hugging its 10-week moving
average in recent weeks.