Reported revenues were 33% higher at $8.22 billion, around 8% better than consensus.
However, if you exclude an $894 million contribution from sales of the firm’s Covid-19 vaccine, revenues grew 17% to $7.32 billion, which was around 2% shy of expectations according to Shore Capital analyst Adam Barker.
AstraZeneca is selling its vaccine at cost which impacts overall profitability. In the first quarter sales of the Covid-19 vaccine were $275 million.
Core earnings per share dropped 6% to $0.90 which was slightly behind expectations due to higher sales and marketing costs. First half earnings per share increased by 37% (or 45% in constant currencies) to $1.61.
UPGRADED GUIDANCE BAKED IN
Following the successful $39 billion acquisition of US rare diseases company Alexion, the company has upgraded guidance with revenues now expected to increase by a low twenty’s percentage, up from low teens.
Meanwhile full year core earnings are expected to be between $5.05 and $5.40 compared with $4.75 to $5.00, around 7% higher at the mid-point.
Consensus expectations already reflect increased guidance with revenues forecast to increase 24% to $33 billion while earnings per share are pegged at $5.16 according to Refinitiv.
The cancer and cardiovascular franchises were the standout performers with revenues up 19% and 21% to $6.36 billion and $2.73 billion respectively in the first half.
Lung cancer drug Tagrisso continued to perform well with sales up 26% in the quarter to $1.31 billion and 22% in the half to $2.45 billion.