AstraZeneca PLC (NASDAQ:AZN) Sees Significant Growth in Short Interest

AstraZeneca PLC (NASDAQ:AZNGet Free Report) was the target of a large growth in short interest during the month of August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 7,330,000 shares, a growth of 49.0% from the August 15th total of 4,920,000 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 5,210,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 1.4 days.

Institutional Trading of AstraZeneca

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Savant Capital LLC bought a new position in AstraZeneca in the first quarter valued at approximately $244,000. Lindbrook Capital LLC increased its holdings in AstraZeneca by 9.1% during the first quarter. Lindbrook Capital LLC now owns 7,210 shares of the company’s stock worth $500,000 after buying an additional 602 shares during the last quarter. Contravisory Investment Management Inc. raised its position in AstraZeneca by 11.1% during the first quarter. Contravisory Investment Management Inc. now owns 1,429 shares of the company’s stock worth $99,000 after acquiring an additional 143 shares in the last quarter. Pitcairn Co. lifted its stake in AstraZeneca by 33.2% in the first quarter. Pitcairn Co. now owns 6,238 shares of the company’s stock valued at $433,000 after acquiring an additional 1,556 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans grew its position in shares of AstraZeneca by 66.8% in the 1st quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans now owns 2,090,858 shares of the company’s stock valued at $145,127,000 after acquiring an additional 837,645 shares during the period. 15.68% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Wall Street Analyst Weigh In

Several equities analysts have weighed in on AZN shares. UBS Group raised AstraZeneca from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 12th. Argus decreased their price objective on shares of AstraZeneca from $85.00 to $80.00 in a report on Friday, May 26th. initiated coverage on shares of AstraZeneca in a research report on Wednesday, August 23rd. They issued a “strong-buy” rating for the company. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft lowered AstraZeneca from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 4th. Finally, HSBC began coverage on AstraZeneca in a report on Friday, July 14th. They issued a “buy” rating for the company. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, four have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. According to data from MarketBeat, the company has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average target price of $103.00.

Check Out Our Latest Report on AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca Price Performance

Shares of NASDAQ AZN opened at $68.27 on Friday. The company has a fifty day moving average price of $68.63 and a 200 day moving average price of $71.11. The firm has a market cap of $211.62 billion, a PE ratio of 34.31, a PEG ratio of 1.35 and a beta of 0.50. The company has a current ratio of 0.87, a quick ratio of 0.67 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.65. AstraZeneca has a 1-year low of $52.65 and a 1-year high of $76.56.

AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZNGet Free Report) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $1.08 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.97 by $0.11. The company had revenue of $11.42 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $11.06 billion. AstraZeneca had a return on equity of 30.39% and a net margin of 13.86%. Research analysts predict that AstraZeneca will post 3.66 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

AstraZeneca Cuts Dividend

The firm also recently declared a semi-annual dividend, which was paid on Monday, September 11th. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 11th were paid a dividend of $0.465 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, August 10th. This represents a dividend yield of 2%. AstraZeneca’s dividend payout ratio is currently 45.73%.

AstraZeneca Company Profile

(Get Free Report)

AstraZeneca PLC, a biopharmaceutical company, focuses on the discovery, development, manufacture, and commercialization of prescription medicines. The company's marketed products include Calquence, Enhertu, Faslodex, Imfinzi, Iressa, Koselugo, Lumoxiti, Lynparza, Orpathys, Tagrisso, and Zoladex for oncology; Andexxa/Ondexxya, Atacand, Atacand HCT, Atacand Plus, Brilinta/Brilique, Bydureon/Byetta, BCise, Byetta, Crestor, Evrenzo, Farxiga/Forxiga, Komboglyze/Kombiglyze XR, Lokelma, Onglyza, Qtern, Xigduo/Xigduo, and Zestril XR for cardiovascular, renal, and metabolism diseases; Accolate, Accoleit, Vanticon, Bevespi Aerosphere, Breztri Aerosphere, Bricanyl Respules and Turbuhaler, Daliresp/Daxas, Duaklir Genuair, Fasenra, Pulmicort, Rhinocort, Saphnelo, Symbicort, and Tezspire for respiratory and immunology; and Kanuma, Soliris, Strensiq, and Ultomiris for rare diseases.

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