AstraZeneca Stock Tanks Over Expiring Patents & Weak Results

The stock price of AstraZeneca (ADR) (NYSE:AZN) declined by more than 5 percent in pre-market trading Thursday after the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company warned investors that of its expiring patents and reported a decline in net profits for the year 2o12.

astrazeneca logo

Based on the financial statement of AstraZeneca, its full year revenues declined by 15 percent at constant exchange rates (CER) to $29.97 billion due to the loss of exclusivity of several brands and disposals of Astra Tech and Aptium. In 2011, its revenue was $33.59 billion.

According to the pharmaceutical company, its earnings per share for 2012 dropped by 9 percent to $6.41 compared with its $7.28 earnings per share last year. .

AstraZeneca (ADR) (NYSE:AZN)’s core gross margin was 81.2 percent of revenues, 9 percent lower than it core gross margin during the previous year. Its expenditures in core SG&A dropped by 12 percent and its core R&D expense also declined by 11 percent for 2012. According to the pharmaceutical company, it core operating profit for 2012 dropped by 18 percent to $10,430 million.

In a statement, Pascal Soriot, chief executive officer of AstraZeneca said the financial performance of pharmaceutical company “reflects a period of significant patent expiry and tough market conditions.”

For the fourth quarter, the pharmaceutical company reported $7.2 billion revenue and $1.56 earnings per share compared with its $8.6 billion revenue and $1.61 earnings per share during the same period in 2011.

According to Soriot, the management team of AstraZeneca will concentrate on the company’s brand and developmental pipeline. He is expected to provide further information regarding the company’s growth strategy during its upcoming Capital Markets day on March 21.

For 2013, the company expects challenges in market conditions to continue, including government interventions in prices and the negative impact from loss of exclusivity from several brands. AstraZeneca (ADR) (NYSE:AZN) anticipates a mid-to-high single digit decline in revenue on a constant currency basis this year.

Soriot joined AstraZeneca (ADR) (NYSE:AZN) to help the pharmaceutical company refill its depleting pipeline of new medicines to boost its revenue. Over the past year, its profit and sales declined due to the expiration of patents of its top selling medicines.