AstraZeneca reports disappointing financial results (2016), yet investors still believe in its rich pipeline

AstraZeneca today announced its 2016 financial results and, simultaneously, provided its 2017 guidance. Sales for the group headed by CEO Pascal Soriot were down 5% ($23bn), a decrease basically due to its blockbuster Crestor facing competition from generics – its sales dropped by 32%. The oncology area delivered the most satisfying results, its sales having increased by 20% vs 2016. Instead, sales decreased by 13% in the Cardiovascular & Metabolic Diseases area and by 3% in the Total Respiratory area. In addition, the management announced that both the revenue and the EPS will decrease by an estimated 2.5% to 5% in 2017. While announcing the results, Soriot described this as an ongoing transition and stated that 2017 has the potential to mark a turning point. The CEO also reiterated that the company will keep focusing on oncology, whose portfolio boasts durvalumab, a potential blockbuster for various types of cancer. However, the company has been reporting negative results since 2011: its sales volume, indeed, has decreased from $33.5bn to $23bn in the 2011-2016 period. Soriot took the opportunity to announce an update to the outstanding group’s pipeline, led by promising cancer therapies. AstraZeneca’s shares closed in positive territory (London) today. (Sources AstraZeneca and Yahoo Finance)