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FTSE 100: AstraZeneca raises profit guidance amid strong demand

Syringes with needles are seen in front of a displayed AstraZeneca logo in this illustration taken, November 27, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
AstraZeneca beat quarterly estimates buoyed by cancer drug sales. Photo:Dado Ruvic/Reuters (Dado Ruvic / reuters)

AstraZeneca (AZN.L) has increased its earnings guidance after a strong quarter, helped by its key cancer drugs.

Here are the numbers that came down Thursday from the pharma company.

Core earnings - $1.67

Revenue - $10,982m

Oncology - $4,039m

Gross margin – 81%

Operating profit YTD - $2,663m

The London-listed drugmaker generated $10.98bn (£9.64bn/$11bn) total revenue for the three months ended Sep. 30.

Profit surged to $1.67 per share in the third quarter, beating the $1.52 analysts had estimated. The pharmaceutical giant said core earnings per share could grow by a percentage in the low thirties.

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“After a strong performance in the year to date, we have increased our core EPS guidance for the full year 2022,” said AZ chief executive Pascal Soriot.

“Additionally, recent encouraging data for several of our pipeline programmes have given us the confidence to proceed with additional late-stage clinical trials as we maintain our focus on the delivery of our growth ambitions.”

Shares of AstraZeneca jumped 1.5% after the drugmaker raised its full-year adjusted earnings forecast.

The company left its sales guidance unchanged.

Demand for cancer drugs gave a boost to the company’s gross profit margins, which grew to 81%. Tagrisso generated nearly $1.4bn while Imfinzi brought in $737m in the quarter.

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The rare disease medicine Ultomiris also fuelled gains and its diabetes treatment Farxiga achieved a third quarter of bumper sales.

However, AstraZeneca warned it faced “geopolitical and supply-chain uncertainties” that could still affect its performance.

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