Hardman & Co Research: AstraZeneca: Where has all the cash gone?
Historically, AstraZeneca (AZN) was a leading global pharmaceutical company, but it has slipped down the rankings following a period of patent expiry on major drugs, notably Nexium, Losec and Seroquel. Understandably, the financial performance, particularly operational cashflow, has suffered through this period and AZN has moved from a net cash ($339m) position in 2009 to net debt of $16.3bn at the end of 1Q'19, necessitating a cash call. Better planning, notably earlier cessation of share buybacks and re-basing its dividend, would have left it in a much stronger position. Meanwhile, its use of 'core' EPS greatly overstates true performance.
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