AstraZeneca stock forecast: Is AstraZeneca a good stock to buy?

With the latest set of results just in, what is the AstraZeneca stock forecast?

AstraZeneca’s latest set of financial results showed the pharmaceutical giant making money, but failing to hit analysts’ predictions. So what does that mean for the AstraZeneca stock forecast? Let’s find out. 

Before we do that, though, let’s take a quick look at how the company has been doing recently…

AstraZeneca this year

2021 has been an interesting year for AstraZeneca. The medicines manufacturer was all over the news earlier this year, when it helped the United Kingdom make a head start on its Covid-19 vaccine roll-out.

This success soon led to controversy, though, as there were concerns over a number of rare side effects linked to the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab, with reports of blood clots causing some countries to stop using the vaccine. Even in the UK, the pharmaceutical giant’s jab was not used for people under 40, with Pfizer and Moderna supplying vaccines for that age group. 

On the other hand, though, there was some good news back in July when AstraZeneca finalised its acquisition of rare disease specialist Alexion, in a deal worth a total $39bn.

Speaking at the time, AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said the deal represented a “new chapter” for the firm, adding: “Our sustained R&D investment in oncology, cardiovascular and renal, as well as respiratory and immunology, has powered AstraZeneca’s transformation and now we add rare diseases, where fewer approved treatment options exist.”

Furthermore, the company’s vaccine is still being distributed across the world – though it is yet to be approved in the United States, the world’s biggest pharmaceutical market. 

What the experts thought

Pfizer recently raised its earnings guidance, suggesting that it expected to generate $36bn in sales this year and $29bn in 2022. Since Pfizer is AstraZeneca’s main rival in the Covid-19 vaccine market, many investors have been eagerly awaiting AstraZeneca’s company guidance to see whether that had changed.

Although few were willing to make concrete predictions about what was going to happen with the AstraZeneca quarterly results, there were still some estimates out there. For instance, the Zacks Consensus Estimate said it was likely that money from sales would come in at $9.821bn, up by nearly 50% from $6.578bn in the same quarter a year earlier.

Meanwhile, Motley Fool’s Roland Head wrote that he expected, given predictions of revenues rising by 33%, that there would be a dividend yield of around 2.3%.

AstraZeneca quarterly update

The latest AstraZeneca quarterly report came out on the morning of 12 November. The company said that it had generated sales revenue of $9.741bn, which was up 49% year-on-year, but just down from what the Zacks forecast had predicted.

While this comparatively modest shortfall may not have been a problem, there was also the matter of the company’s earnings per share. This came in at $1.08, which was up 14% from the same quarter in 2020, but down from the $1.28 EPS that Refinitiv had predicted, according to Nasdaq

As a result of this news, AstraZeneca said that it was not going to change its guidance for the coming financial year, which would see revenue, excluding vaccines, grow by somewhere between 20% and 25%. This will have been of interest to investors who noted the rise in Pfizer’s guidance. 

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The other key bit of news was that the company said it had signed for-profit deals to distribute its vaccine, having previously said it would not try to profit on the jab until the pandemic was over. The company’s vaccines will still, however, be provided to countries in the developing world on a not-for-profit basis. 

In a statement, Soriot said: “AstraZeneca’s scientific leadership continues to provide strong revenue growth and exceptional pipeline delivery, with eight positive late-stage readouts across seven medicines since June, including our long-acting antibody combination showing promise in both prevention and treatment of Covid-19. 

“The addition of Alexion furthers our commitment to bring transformative therapies to patients around the world, and I am proud of our colleagues’ ongoing dedication and focus,” continued Soriot.

So, what did this mean for the AstraZeneca share price? Let’s take a look. 

The markets’ reaction

AZN price history
AstraZeneca price history - Credit:

When the markets closed on 11 November 2021, the AstraZeneca stock price stood at $62.92. When they reopened the following day, after the results were announced, the price had risen by about 0.19% to $63.04. Investors seemed to be comparatively ambivalent about the news coming from the company.

That said, the latest goings on regarding AstraZeneca’s stock market value should be taken into context. When the markets opened on 4 January this year, the price stood at $50.92, which means the price has gone up by just over 23% this calendar year. On the other hand, the AstraZeneca share price was $56.81 when the markets opened on 12 November 2020, which means the price has actually risen by just under 11% over the course of the last 12 months. 

With that out of the way, let’s take a look at the AZN stock forecast. An AstraZeneca share price prediction is never set in stone, because forecasts are very often wrong. But they can still be a useful tool for investors. 

AstraZeneca stock forecast

When CNN Money surveyed 23 stock market experts for its 12-month AstraZeneca share price forecast, the median response was $70.82, which would see it up by about 12.6% from where it stood on 11 November.

The most optimistic expert said the price would hit $103.70, which would see the stock go up by 64.9% from recent levels. There was a note of caution, though, with the most negative AstraZeneca share price prediction coming in at $59.86, down 4.8%.

As for what to do with AZN stock, suggestions were largely encouraging. Of 27 analysts polled by CNN Money, the overwhelming majority (22) said people should buy AZN. There were another two who said they expected the stock to outperform expectations, while the remaining three recommended holding on to it for the time being.

That means that there was no one who thought AstraZeneca would underperform against expectations, and there were no suggestions to sell the stock. 


Is AstraZeneca a good stock to buy?

Potentially. Although AstraZeneca has been comparatively quiet over the last year, there is always the potential for growth. That said, you will need to do your own research, remember that prices can go down as well as up, and never invest more money than you can afford to lose. 

Will AstraZeneca stock go up?

It could do. Although the stock price of AstraZeneca hasn’t done terribly over the last year, it hasn’t done brilliantly either, but there may be room for growth. Anyway, you will need to do your own research, remembering that prices can go down as well as up, and make sure never to invest money you can’t afford to lose. 

Should I buy AstraZeneca stock?

This is entirely up to you. Regardless of what you want to do, you need to do your own research, remember prices can go down as well as up, and never invest more money than you can afford to lose. 

Further reading

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