Higher Vaccine Sales Even As COVID Boost Wanes

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  • AstraZeneca has started earning a modest profit on the vaccine.
  • with sales of $3.9 billion, was AstraZeneca’s second best-selling product last year, behind only lung cancer drug Tagrisso.
  • The company beat fourth-quarter earnings forecasts 

AstraZeneca raised its annual dividend for the first time in a decade.overall 2022 will continue to rise but the covid sales will drop.their shares are among FTSE top 100 gainers .

Forecasted sales of the company

AstraZeneca raised its annual dividend for the first time in a decade on Thursday and forecast higher sales for 2022 as new drugs against cancer, kidney disease and rare conditions make up for a decline in COVID-19 products.

Early data has shown a booster shot of the drugmaker’s widely-used COVID-19 vaccine and its antibody drug Evusheld both work against the Omicron coronavirus variant.

But while the company forecasts sales of Evusheld to grow this year, it expects that will be more than outweighed by a decline in sales of the vaccine amid growing competition.

AstraZeneca has started earning a modest profit on the vaccine, which was initially sold at-cost under a deal with its developers at Oxford University. But the company said it would continue to sell it to low-income nations on a non-profit basis.

Sales of covid-19 products

While sales of COVID-19 products are expected to decline by a low-to-mid 20s percentage this year, the London-listed company forecast overall revenues to rise by a high teens percentage, with core earnings up by a mid-to-high 20s percentage.

Its shares were up around 3% at 1215 GMT, among the biggest risers on the FTSE-100 index, as some investors had braced for a weaker performance this year.

“There had been significant investor anxiety coming into today’s guidance issuance, and with overall 2022 consensus numbers not likely to change on the back of the update, we believe the overhang should be largely lifted,” analysts at J.P. Morgan said in a note.

Analysts currently expect 2022 earnings per share (EPS) of $6.68 and sales of $42.73 billion, according to Refinitiv IBES data. 

Vaccine

The COVID-19 vaccine, with sales of $3.9 billion, was AstraZeneca’s second best-selling product last year, behind only lung cancer drug Tagrisso, which racked up over $5 billion in revenues.

AstraZeneca’s ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 shot, sold under the brands Vaxzevria and Covishield with more than 2.6 billion doses supplied as of February, remains a major weapon against the pandemic in middle-income countries.

But it is yet to get U.S. approval and its use in Europe has diminished as countries have inoculated most of their populations and tend to prefer Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines.

AstraZeneca expects to submit the vaccine for U.S. regulatory approval in the first half of the year, much later than the original timetable for 2021.

The earning forecast of the company

The company beat fourth-quarter earnings forecasts and said it would raise its annualised dividend by $0.10 to $2.90 per share.

“AstraZeneca continued on its strong growth trajectory in 2021 with … five of our medicines crossing (the) blockbuster threshold,” Soriot said, referring to products that generate more than $1 billion per year in sales.

Total revenue jumped 63% to $12.01 billion for the three months to Dec. 31 on a constant-currency basis, while core EPS came in at $1.67 cents, topping estimates of an EPS of $1.50 on sales of $10.79 billion.

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Source: Reuters

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