AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (AZN): The Latest News

This isn’t enough to save AstraZeneca’s future, however. While the developmental buys could help AstraZeneca’s pipeline over the long term if they pan out, the company hasn’t done much to solve its problems in the near future. AstraZeneca’s goal is to double its late-stage developmental drugs by 2016, a goal it’s far away from achieving now.

AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN) and Shire PLC (ADR) (NASDAQ:SHPG) were the subject of takeover talk earlier in the year, and Shire PLC (ADR) (NASDAQ:SHPG) is a company that AstraZeneca should pursue more aggressively. Although Shire recently cut its sales forecast for the full year, the company still expects revenue to grow at a modest clip this year — a feat that AstraZeneca can’t boast. With more than $4 billion in annual sales, Shire would immediately firm up AstraZeneca’s revenue hole in a big way, and the company’s experience with gastrointestinal drugs would fit in well with AstraZeneca’s own portfolio.

Shire would be a hefty purchase for AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN) with a market cap of more than $17 billion, but AstraZeneca can’t keep pursuing small-time deals like Optimer. These kinds of acquisitions won’t help its financial decline in much of a meaningful way. AstraZeneca’s leadership has shown that it’s ready to pull the trigger on more purchases, but unless this company’s willing to make a bold, big move, it will continue to struggle. For now, stay away from this flailing big pharma.

The article Is AstraZeneca Gearing Up for a Shopping Spree? originally appeared on and is written by Dan Carroll.

Fool contributor Dan Carroll has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Cubist Pharmaceuticals.

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