AstraZeneca Exploring Vaccines Division Listing – Report

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AstraZeneca (AZN) has been exploring a string of options, key among them the listing of a vaccines division. Citing people with knowledge of the matter, Bloomberg reports the company is planning to list the vaccines division to boost shareholders’ return. AZN shares fell 1.02% to close at $54.23 on December 4.

AstraZeneca is a UK-based pharmaceutical company that delivers life-changing medicines. It produces and commercializes medicines for cancer, as well as for gastrointestinal and respiratory disorders, among other infectious diseases.

Vaccine Division Listing

A Bloomberg report states that the pharmaceutical company is still in the early stages as it explores the best way of positioning the vaccines. The report further states that the company’s management hierarchy has discussed a range of possibilities with advisers as they look to float the business. (See Top Smart Score Stocks on TipRanks)

The listing push comes on the heels of AstraZeneca creating the new unit for vaccine and immune therapies last month. The unit currently houses the COVID-19 inoculation and antibody treatment. It also houses flu shots and drugs for the respiratory syncytial virus. Led by Iskra Reic, the division currently comprises research, manufacturing, and commercial departments.

Shareholder Value

AstraZeneca Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Pascal Soriot has come under immense pressure from shareholders as the stock continues to lag its peers. Over the past 12 months, the stock has only gained 6%. In contrast, Pfizer (PFE) is up around 35%, while Moderna (MRNA) stock has jumped by 90% over the same period.

In a bid to unlock more value, AstraZeneca confirmed in November that it will move to a profit structure for its Covid-19 vaccines, which were created in partnership with the University of Oxford. The move comes on the company seeing its rivals generate billions from the sale of their vaccines.

Stock Rating

Last Month, Leerink Partners analyst Andrew Berens reiterated a Buy rating on the stock with a $73 price target, implying 34.61% upside potential to current levels.

Consensus among analysts is a Moderate Buy based on 2 Buys. The average AstraZeneca price target of $73 implies 34.61% upside potential to current levels.

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