Astrazeneca PLC (NYSE:AZN) shares rose 1.2% during mid-day trading on Friday . The stock traded as high as $31.97 and last traded at $32.28. Approximately 2,958,627 shares traded hands during trading, a decline of 40% from the average daily volume of 4,931,290 shares. The stock had previously closed at $31.89.

AZN has been the subject of several analyst reports. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) reaffirmed a “sell” rating on shares of Astrazeneca PLC in a research report on Thursday, July 13th. Credit Suisse Group raised Astrazeneca PLC from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, May 12th. Barclays PLC reaffirmed an “overweight” rating on shares of Astrazeneca PLC in a research report on Thursday, July 13th. Leerink Swann lowered Astrazeneca PLC from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and lowered their target price for the stock from $36.00 to $31.00 in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research lowered Astrazeneca PLC from a “strong-buy” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, July 17th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $33.60.

The company’s 50 day moving average is $30.25 and its 200 day moving average is $31.60. The stock has a market capitalization of $81.66 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.15 and a beta of 0.74. Astrazeneca PLC also was the target of some unusual options trading activity on Wednesday. Stock traders bought 8,259 put options on the stock. This is an increase of 1,510% compared to the average volume of 513 put options.

Astrazeneca PLC (NYSE:AZN) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The company reported $0.87 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.41 by $0.46. The business had revenue of $5.05 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.04 billion. Astrazeneca PLC had a net margin of 17.80% and a return on equity of 35.90%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 9.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.83 EPS. Analysts anticipate that Astrazeneca PLC will post $1.85 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a None dividend, which will be paid on Monday, September 11th. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 11th will be issued a $0.44 dividend. This represents a dividend yield of 2.98%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 9th. Astrazeneca PLC’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 44.92%.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in AZN. Bank of America Corp DE boosted its holdings in Astrazeneca PLC by 29.5% during the first quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 45,744,976 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,424,498,000 after buying an additional 10,414,969 shares in the last quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC boosted its holdings in Astrazeneca PLC by 476.9% during the second quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC now owns 11,081,856 shares of the company’s stock worth $377,780,000 after buying an additional 9,160,764 shares in the last quarter. Primecap Management Co. CA boosted its holdings in Astrazeneca PLC by 32.1% during the first quarter. Primecap Management Co. CA now owns 34,310,950 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,068,443,000 after buying an additional 8,330,675 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. boosted its holdings in Astrazeneca PLC by 287,844.0% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 6,910,657 shares of the company’s stock worth $215,198,000 after buying an additional 6,908,257 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Wellington Management Group LLP boosted its holdings in Astrazeneca PLC by 7.9% during the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 63,250,780 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,969,630,000 after buying an additional 4,605,694 shares in the last quarter. 14.18% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

TRADEMARK VIOLATION WARNING: This piece was first posted by Daily Political and is the property of of Daily Political. If you are viewing this piece on another publication, it was illegally stolen and reposted in violation of U.S. and international copyright & trademark legislation. The original version of this piece can be viewed at https://www.dailypolitical.com/2017/09/08/astrazeneca-plc-azn-stock-price-up-1-2.html.

About Astrazeneca PLC

AstraZeneca PLC (AstraZeneca) is a biopharmaceutical company. The Company focuses on discovery and development of products, which are then manufactured, marketed and sold. The Company focuses on three main therapy areas: Oncology, Cardiovascular & Metabolic Disease (CVMD) and Respiratory, while selectively pursuing therapies in Autoimmunity, Infection and Neuroscience.

Get Analysts' Upgrades and Downgrades Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of analysts' upgrades, downgrades and new coverage with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.