Live News Updates: AstraZeneca raises guidance after strong sales of Covid treatment


AstraZeneca raised its full-year revenue guidance on strong sales of its Evusheld Covid-19 antibody treatment and drugs to treat cancer and rare diseases.

The Anglo-Swedish drugmaker now expects total revenue to rise by a percentage point in the 20s, up from its previous forecast of growth in the teens. It stuck to its previous guidance for core earnings per share, expecting it to rise by a percentage in the mid-to-high twenties.

Pascal Soriot, chief executive of AstraZeneca, said the expected jump in revenue would help the company boost investment in research and development.

“We expect to announce the results of several important late-stage trials this year and next,” he said.

In the second quarter, AstraZeneca beat expectations for sales and earnings. It reported total revenue of $10.8 billion, above the average analyst estimate of $8.7 billion, and up 37% year-over-year at constant exchange rates.

Oncology contributed $3.8 billion, up 20% year-over-year, while the rare disease portfolio, acquired in the Alexion acquisition, increased 12% year-over-year to $1,800 millions of dollars.

Sales of Evusheld, the antibody treatment that helps protect people who don’t respond to vaccines, were $445 million and are expected to rise in the second half.

Sales of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine, developed with the University of Oxford, generated $455 million, but are expected to decline for the rest of the year.

Core earnings per share rose 89% at constant exchange rates to $1.72, above the consensus forecast of $1.57. Operating profit was $539 million, down 53% at constant rates.

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