AstraZeneca tops quarterly estimates buoyed by cancer drug sales

A company logo is seen at the AstraZeneca site in MacclesfieldA company logo is seen at the AstraZeneca site in Macclesfield, Britain, May 11, 2021. REUTERS/Phil Noble

Nov 10 (Reuters) – AstraZeneca (AZN.L) on Thursday topped analysts' expectations for third-quarter profit and revenue, helped by sales of its key cancer drugs, and raised its full-year adjusted earnings forecast.

The London-listed drugmaker generated $10.98 billion total revenue for the three months ended Sep. 30 on a constant-currency basis, while core earnings came in at $1.67 cents per share.

Analysts on average were expecting profit of $1.52 cents per share on revenue of around $10.73 billion, based on Refinitiv data.

Sales of AstraZeneca's key cancer medicines — Tagrisso and Imfinzi — helped the company's revenue beat, with sales of its broader oncology portfolio rising 24%.

Tagrisso generated nearly $1.4 billion, Imfinzi brought in $737 million in the quarter. Cowen analysts had forecast their sales at about $1.35 billion and $725 million, respectively.

The Anglo-Swedish drugmaker now expects its full year adjusted profit per share to increase by a "high twenties to low thirties percentage". Previously, it had forecast a 2022 gain in the "mid-to-high twenties percentage".

Like Swiss peer Novartis (NOVN.S), AstraZeneca reports its results in dollars. Novartis in late October said strong U.S. currency was a drag on the value of its quarterly sales generated outside the United States.

AstraZeneca on Thursday said its anticipated 2022 revenue growth would be impacted by a currency headwind of a "mid single-digit percentage".

Core earnings per share for the year will also be negatively affected by "mid-to-high single-digit percentage," it added.

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