JPMorgan Cazenove gave a boost to AstraZeneca PLC (LON:AZN) on Thursday, with the drugmaker’s stock shrugging aside ex-dividend factors to push higher as the US bank hiked its target price and reiterated an ‘overweight’ stance.
The bank raised its target for the FTSE 100-listed shares to 6,500p, up from 5,800p previously, with the stock currently trading at 6,079p, up 1.5% on Wednesday’s close.
In a note to clients, JPMorgan’s analysts said the target hike comes after they updated their numbers for Astra following recent second quarter 2018 results, to make “further upgrades to new launch trajectories, and include risk-adjusted forecasts for three further pipeline shots on goal”.
They said: “We continue to see double-digit upside to consensus for new launch products in 2018 and 2019. Overall we make minor near-term forecast changes, with our 2019- 22e Core EPS CAGR unchanged at 19%; however our longer-term growth is further strengthened.”
The analysts noted that they continue to set their price target for AstraZeneca at a 50% premium to large cap-pharma peers, justified by a more than twice as fast medium-term outlook
They concluded: “With our PT implying double-digit upside, and with double-digit upside to consensus new launch expectations this year, as well as upcoming pipeline readouts with attractive risk/reward, we reiterate our Overweight.”