Dodge & Cox bought a new stake in shares of AstraZeneca plc (NYSE:AZN) during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The institutional investor bought 49,613,588 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,355,443,000.

Other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. increased its position in AstraZeneca plc by 853.7% in the third quarter. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. now owns 9,918 shares of the company’s stock valued at $326,000 after buying an additional 8,878 shares in the last quarter. Hayek Kallen Investment Management purchased a new position in AstraZeneca plc during the third quarter valued at approximately $217,000. Acadian Asset Management LLC purchased a new position in AstraZeneca plc during the third quarter valued at approximately $2,912,000. 1st Global Advisors Inc. purchased a new position in AstraZeneca plc during the third quarter valued at approximately $344,000. Finally, CIBC Asset Management Inc purchased a new position in AstraZeneca plc during the third quarter valued at approximately $1,990,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 12.90% of the company’s stock.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for AstraZeneca plc (NYSE:AZN)

AstraZeneca plc (NYSE:AZN) traded up 0.36% during midday trading on Monday, reaching $30.80. The company had a trading volume of 2,134,642 shares. AstraZeneca plc has a one year low of $25.55 and a one year high of $35.04. The stock has a market capitalization of $77.94 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.32 and a beta of 0.77. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $29.09 and a 200-day moving average price of $29.33.

AstraZeneca plc (NYSE:AZN) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, February 2nd. The company reported $1.21 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.59 by $0.62. AstraZeneca plc had a return on equity of 34.30% and a net margin of 15.21%. The business earned $5.59 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.43 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.94 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was down 12.7% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts expect that AstraZeneca plc will post $1.83 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a semiannual dividend, which will be paid on Monday, March 20th. Investors of record on Friday, February 17th will be given a dividend of $0.95 per share. This represents a yield of 6.81%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, February 15th. AstraZeneca plc’s payout ratio is 49.64%.

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Several research firms have commented on AZN. Cowen and Company reiterated a “market perform” rating on shares of AstraZeneca plc in a research report on Monday, March 6th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded AstraZeneca plc from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $33.00 target price for the company in a research report on Tuesday, February 14th. Barclays PLC began coverage on AstraZeneca plc in a research report on Tuesday, March 7th. They issued an “overweight” rating for the company. TheStreet upgraded AstraZeneca plc from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a research report on Tuesday, February 28th. Finally, Vetr downgraded AstraZeneca plc from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $29.50 target price for the company. in a research report on Monday, February 13th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $35.44.

AstraZeneca plc Company Profile

AstraZeneca PLC (AstraZeneca) is a biopharmaceutical company. The Company focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of diseases in various therapy areas, including respiratory, inflammation, autoimmune disease (RIA), cardiovascular and metabolic disease (CVMD) and oncology, as well as in infection, neuroscience and gastrointestinal areas.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:AZN

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