2-2-18 2:54 AM EST | Email Article

By Carlo Martuscelli

 

AstraZeneca PLC (AZN.LN) said pretax profit fell 81% in the fourth quarter, citing increased costs, and guided for a decrease in core earnings per share.

The pharmaceutical company said profit before tax was $407 million compared with $2.18 billion the year before. It missed analyst expectations of a $552 million pretax profit.

AstraZeneca said revenue increased to $5.78 billion, up 3.4% on the previous-year period.

Product sales in the fourth quarter came to $5.49 billion compared with $5.26 billion the year before, AstraZeneca said. It guided for a low single-digit percentage increase in product sales for 2018.

The company said selling, general and administrative costs in the period more-than doubled to $3.08 billion.

AstraZeneca said it is guiding for core earnings per share in the range of $3.30 to $3.50, down from its 2017 core EPS figure of $4.28.

The company declared a second interim dividend of $1.90, bringing its full-year dividend to $2.80, unchanged from the year before.

AstraZeneca said it expects core research and development costs to either experience a low single-digit decline or remain unchanged.

"AstraZeneca's revenues improved over the course of the year, a sign of how our company is steadily turning a corner. Strong commercial execution helped us bring our science to more patients, making the most of our exciting pipeline," Chief Executive Pascal Soriot said.

"We made encouraging progress across the main therapy areas and delivered strong growth in China," he said.

 

Write to Carlo Martuscelli at carlo.martuscelli@dowjones.com


Corrections & Amplifications

This item was corrected on Friday February 2, 2018 at 0838 GMT to reflect that AstraZeneca declared a second interim dividend of $1.90, not $1.90 pence.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 02, 2018 02:54 ET (07:54 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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