MML Investors Services LLC Trims Position in AstraZeneca plc (AZN)

MML Investors Services LLC lowered its position in shares of AstraZeneca plc (NYSE:AZN) by 11.3% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 51,683 shares of the company’s stock after selling 6,556 shares during the period. MML Investors Services LLC’s holdings in AstraZeneca were worth $1,963,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other hedge funds have also recently modified their holdings of the company. Squarepoint Ops LLC acquired a new position in AstraZeneca during the 4th quarter worth approximately $439,000. Logan Capital Management Inc. raised its stake in AstraZeneca by 8.4% during the 4th quarter. Logan Capital Management Inc. now owns 27,097 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,029,000 after buying an additional 2,096 shares during the period. Cullen Capital Management LLC raised its stake in AstraZeneca by 11.4% during the 4th quarter. Cullen Capital Management LLC now owns 117,105 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,448,000 after buying an additional 12,020 shares during the period. D. E. Shaw & Co. Inc. acquired a new position in AstraZeneca during the 4th quarter worth approximately $10,276,000. Finally, Sphera Funds Management LTD. acquired a new position in AstraZeneca during the 4th quarter worth approximately $19,560,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 18.31% of the company’s stock.

A number of research firms recently weighed in on AZN. Zacks Investment Research downgraded AstraZeneca from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 20th. Main First Bank reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of AstraZeneca in a research note on Tuesday, March 19th. HSBC reaffirmed a “sell” rating on shares of AstraZeneca in a research note on Thursday, February 28th. Deutsche Bank reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of AstraZeneca in a research note on Tuesday, February 26th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group reaffirmed a “sell” rating on shares of AstraZeneca in a research note on Tuesday, February 26th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company. AstraZeneca presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $45.50.



Shares of AstraZeneca stock opened at $42.59 on Monday. The company has a market capitalization of $107.88 billion, a PE ratio of 12.31, a P/E/G ratio of 1.24 and a beta of 0.52. AstraZeneca plc has a 52 week low of $34.11 and a 52 week high of $43.29. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.24, a current ratio of 0.96 and a quick ratio of 0.78.

AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 14th. The company reported $1.58 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.73 by $0.85. The firm had revenue of $6.42 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $6.33 billion. AstraZeneca had a return on equity of 32.47% and a net margin of 9.76%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 11.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $1.30 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts predict that AstraZeneca plc will post 1.79 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a semiannual dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, March 27th. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 1st will be paid a $0.95 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, February 28th. This is an increase from AstraZeneca’s previous semiannual dividend of $0.45. This represents a dividend yield of 4.64%. AstraZeneca’s dividend payout ratio is 53.76%.

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AstraZeneca Profile

AstraZeneca PLC discovers, develops, and commercializes prescription medicines for the treatment of oncology, cardiovascular and metabolic, respiratory, gastrointestinal, neuroscience, and infection diseases worldwide. Its marketed products include Arimidex, Casodex/Cosudex, Calquence, Faslodex, Imfinzi, Iressa, Lynparza, Nolvadex, Tagrisso, and Zoladex for oncology diseases; Atacand1/Atacand HCT/Atacand Plus, Brilinta/Brilique, Crestor2, Plendil, Seloken/Toprol-XL4, Tenormin5, and Zestril6 for cardiovascular diseases; and Bydureon, Byetta, Farxiga/Forxiga, Kombiglyze XR, Komboglyze, Onglyza, Qtern, Symlin, Xigduo, and Xigduo XR for metabolic diseases.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN)

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