AstraZeneca braces for coronavirus hit, but no impact so far


Simon Dawson | Bloomberg | Getty Images

AstraZeneca forecast a likely slowdown in revenue growth this year, assuming a hit from China’s coronavirus epidemic lasting up to a few months, although it added there had been limited disruption to its operations so far.

Shares in the company, one of the world’s major drugmakers, tumbled as much as 6% in early Friday trade after fourth-quarter results also missed analysts’ expectations.

However, they recovered after CEO Pascal Soriot played down the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the business so far. He told Reuters revenues could reach the top end of its guidance range if the epidemic was brought quickly under control.

The company, moving into a third year of growth, predicted revenues would rise by a high single-digit to a low double-digit percentage at constant exchange rates this year, compared with 13% in 2019.

Analysts are currently forecasting growth of 10%, according to Refinitiv data, although Jefferies analysts said anything below a double-digit…

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