At the time of writing, the shares of this FTSE 100 Anglo-Swedish group are trading at 3,080 pence -- little changed from a year ago against a rising market.
How will AstraZeneca's businesses have performed in 2012 compared with last year? Here's your cut-out-and-check results table!
|FY 2011||Forecast FY 2012||Forecast FY growth|
|Revenue||$33.59 billion||$28.10 billion||-16.3%|
|Core earnings per share||$7.28||$6 to $6.30||-15.5% (mid)|
|Dividend per share||$2.8||$2.9||+3.6%|
Pascal's plans We haven't heard too much yet from AstraZeneca's new chief executive, Pascal Soriot, who took up his duties on Oct. 1 of last year. Commenting on his appointment, Soriot said: "My priority is to restore the company to growth and scientific leadership."
Poached from Swiss rival Roche, Soriot is known as an innovator and deal-maker. His first act as Astra's chief executive was to suspend the company's share buyback program in order to maintain financial "flexibility" -- useful for a deal-maker. He has also made sweeping changes to the executive management team structure and personnel, including the creation of three senior research and development roles, showing his commitment to innovation.
The upcoming results will give Soriot the first proper opportunity to tell shareholders about his plans for the company.
Revenues The forecast revenue numbers largely reflect the ongoing impact from the loss of exclusivity for a number of Astra's brands in key markets.
In Q3, revenues in Western Europe were down 20%, with loss of exclusivity on Seroquel IR, Atacand, Nexium, and Merrem accounting for 70% of the decline. In the U.S., revenues were down 19% due to the impact of health care reform and the loss of exclusivity on Seroquel IR. In other developed markets, revenues were down 18%, largely due to a 43% decline in Canada as a result of generic competition for Crestor and Atacand.
The picture was brighter in emerging markets, where revenues increased 6%, including rises of 23% in both China and Russia. However, there were also some gloomier spots -- notably Mexico, where challenging conditions knocked as much as 2% off the total emerging-markets revenue growth.
CEO Soriot has his work cut out, but the market already knows that. Restoring the company to growth won't happen overnight. Analysts are forecasting Astra's total revenues for 2012 to be $28.1 billion (down 16%). Revenues for the first nine months were $20.7 billion (down 17%), so look out for Q4 revenues of $7.4 billion.