AstraZeneca (AZN) shares: A long term buy from pharma space


  • AstraZeneca opened new research and development called Discovery Centre (DISC) is worth about £1 billion, in Cambridge
  • It is the biggest science lab in the UK, tied with Francis Crick Institute located in London

Pharmaceutical company and covid-19 vaccine maker AstraZeneca PLC (LON: AZN) opened a new research and development centre, worth about £1 billion, located in the outskirts of Cambridge.

The new centre, called the Discovery Centre (DISC), is the biggest science lab in the country, alongside another biomedical research centre, the Francis Crick Institute, located in London.

On Tuesday, the lab was formally opened by Prince Charles.

AstraZeneca PLC’s new £1 billion R&D centre

The new R&D centre of AstraZeneca is the biggest single investment by the company at an individual site as of now. The centre will have around 16 labs and almost 2,200 scientists.

The new centre aims to use artificial intelligence and other cutting-edge technology to help in the development of AstraZeneca’s next generation of drugs and other therapeutic products.

The company’s new centre will have a unit for covid-19 vaccines and will also focus on a preventative covid-19 antibody cocktail amongst other products.

The preventative covid-19 antibody cocktail called as AZD7442 or Evusheld, provide about 83 per cent of protection over a period of 6 months from the coronavirus, as per its late-stage trial.

AstraZeneca’s YTD and Q3 2021 results

The company recently reported that its YTD 2021 total revenue increased by 28 per cent, on a constant exchange rate (CER) basis, to US$ 25,406 million.

Product sales accounted for a major share of its total revenues, as its YTD 2021 product sales rose by 29 per cent (CER) to US$ 25,043 million.

Its Q3 2021 total revenue rose by 48 per cent, on a CER basis, to US$ 9,866 million, and the company’s YTD 2021 core earnings per share (EPS) rose by 23 per cent (at CER) to US$ 3.59.

FY 2021 outlook

The company expect its FY 2021 total revenue (not inclusive of its covid-19 vaccine) growth rate to be in the low-20s per cent range, in line with its previously reported guidance.

The company said its Q4 2021 revenue (including the covid-19 vaccine) growth rate is to be in the mid-to-high 20s per cent.

AstraZeneca expects its core EPS growth to be in line with its earlier guidance range of US$ 5.05 to US$ 5.40.

AstraZeneca PLC’s (LON: AZN) share price performance

AstraZeneca’s shares were at GBX 8,502.00, higher by 0.26 per cent on Wednesday at 08:45 AM BST, while the FTSE 100 index was at 7,307.15, up by 0.56 per cent.

© 2021 Kalkine Media

Image description: AZN YTD return and market cap

The company’s market cap was at £131,367.65 million as of 24 November. The company has given shareholders a one-year return of 6.17 per cent as of Wednesday.