AstraZeneca to show there is more to the company than the COVID-19 vaccine


It has been hard to keep AstraZeneca PLC (LON:AZN) out of the news and it will get further attention on Friday when it releases a first-quarter trading update.

UBS is forecasting total revenues of US$7.07bn, which puts it above the consensus forecast of US$6.95bn.

It goes for a core operating profit of US$2.76bn (consensus: US$2.55bn) and core earnings per share of US$1.54 versus a consensus forecast of US$1.45.

“We expect the COVID-19 vaccine might negatively impact the margin in Q1,” UBS said.

“We will also look for any commentary around further COVID-19 impact for the rest of the year. Even though the Alexion/AZN deal obtained FTC approval recently we don’t expect an update quite yet,” UBS said.

Morgan Stanley is expecting first-quarter sales of US$6.85bn and core earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of US$2.49bn.

Banks results season continues with Barclays PLC (LON:BARC) making its way to the crease.

Investment bank revenues are expected to be strong in the quarter, while loan impairment charges in the quarter are expected to be low.

Barclays’ own banking analysts expect the discussion to “increasingly focus on the potential for write-backs of loan loss provisions”.

Morgan Stanley is forecasting net interest income of GBP1,923mln, gross operating income of GBP5,842mln, profit before tax of GBP1,835mln, net profit of GBP1,188mln and common equity tier 1 ratio of 14.5%.

Significant announcements expected

Trading announcements: AstraZeneca PLC (LON:AZN), Barclays PLC (LON:BARC), Smurfit Kappa Group plc (LON:SKG), Hikma Pharmaceuticals PLC (LON:HIK), Rotork PLC (LON:ROR)

Finals: UK Oil & Gas PLC (LON:UKOG)

Interims: Up Global Sourcing Holdings PLC (LON:UPGS)

Economic data: US personal incomes, US Chicago PMI, UK house prices


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