AstraZeneca makes analyst cry | FT Alphaville

AstraZeneca makes analyst cry

Here’s an early contender for the most amusing analyst research note of 2011.

It comes from London-based Druganalyst, which was one of the top 10 independent equity research firms in last year’s Extel survey according to the blurb on its website.

And the note concerns Thursday’s full year results from AstraZeneca, the drug company which doesn’t seem to have any drugs in its pipeline.


I apologise for any spelling mistakes as it’s hard to write with the tears streaming down my face. No its not sadness that my SELL on Astra is getting squeezed by the open, it is laughter as I read that today’s miss would have been a heck of a lot worse had it not been for a visit to the UK pension fund and the making of a few adjustments. On top of this the company cuts its own R&D revenue expectations, and talks of a “favourable movement in managed market relative accruals” as a prime reason for the Crestor result…

They say sharks can identify fish dying and in difficulty from a distance of 3 miles. Apparently it is something about the way that they swim. Half decent sell-siders can do it with companies, it’s something about the excuses we hear from management as they attempt to shore up results and justify the future.

There’s going to be more buy-back. And just in case the umpteenth reiteration that the FDA doesn’t want more clinical trials on Brilinta hasn’t yet sunk in, did you know that the FDA doesn’t want more clinical trials on Brilinta? It just needs to be told why the drug doesn’t work in Americans.

There are 3 reasons why you may want to cream off your UK pension fund. You could have outperformed and so there was too much money in it. You could simply be doing a Robert Maxwell, though I am sure no-one at Astra would be so dastardly, or thirdly you could plan to sack so many employees early that they will never need pensions from you anyway. If there’s a 4th reason maybe you can tell me?

So with my eyes red and puffy with fresh tears of amusement, and with the great white sharks ever circling, my work here is done. I don’t think that I will need to revisit my Astra call ever again. I am so pleased about that!

We could not have put it better ourselves.

At pixel time shares in AZ were 56p higher at £31.50: