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Astrazeneca (AZN) Gains As Market Dips: What You Should Know

In the latest trading session, Astrazeneca (AZN) closed at $49.90, marking a +1.05% move from the previous day. The stock outpaced the S&P 500's daily loss of 0.22%. At the same time, the Dow lost 0.23%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 0.38%.

Prior to today's trading, shares of the pharmaceutical had lost 6.72% over the past month. This has lagged the Medical sector's gain of 3.32% and the S&P 500's gain of 2.78% in that time.

AZN will be looking to display strength as it nears its next earnings release. The company is expected to report EPS of $0.53, up 17.78% from the prior-year quarter. Our most recent consensus estimate is calling for quarterly revenue of $7.01 billion, up 5.2% from the year-ago period.

AZN's full-year Zacks Consensus Estimates are calling for earnings of $2 per share and revenue of $26.22 billion. These results would represent year-over-year changes of +14.29% and +7.53%, respectively.

Investors might also notice recent changes to analyst estimates for AZN. These revisions help to show the ever-changing nature of near-term business trends. As a result, we can interpret positive estimate revisions as a good sign for the company's business outlook.

Research indicates that these estimate revisions are directly correlated with near-term share price momentum. Investors can capitalize on this by using the Zacks Rank. This model considers these estimate changes and provides a simple, actionable rating system.

The Zacks Rank system, which ranges from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive outside-audited track record of outperformance, with #1 stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 1988. Within the past 30 days, our consensus EPS projection has moved 0.77% lower. AZN is currently a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

In terms of valuation, AZN is currently trading at a Forward P/E ratio of 24.66. Its industry sports an average Forward P/E of 13.8, so we one might conclude that AZN is trading at a premium comparatively.

Meanwhile, AZN's PEG ratio is currently 1.76. This metric is used similarly to the famous P/E ratio, but the PEG ratio also takes into account the stock's expected earnings growth rate. The Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry currently had an average PEG ratio of 2.19 as of yesterday's close.

The Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry is part of the Medical sector. This group has a Zacks Industry Rank of 122, putting it in the top 48% of all 250+ industries.

The Zacks Industry Rank gauges the strength of our industry groups by measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.

To follow AZN in the coming trading sessions, be sure to utilize Zacks.com.


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