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Are AstraZeneca shares still a ‘buy’? These two heavyweight banks think so

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Two heavyweight banks repeated their bullish calls on AstraZeneca (LON:AZN) in the wake of a double dose of bad news this week.

Making major headlines has been the apparent link between Oxford-developed Covid jab AZ manufactures and rare but potentially fatal blood clots.

UBS maintained its ‘buy’ recommendation and £80 a share price target for shares in AZ in the wake of the inoculation safety data from both the EU and UK.

Regulators said the risk-reward profile remained positive, though the authorities here at home will dose the under-30s with Moderna and Pfizer injections.

Drown out by the din around the vaccine was news that a partner of the Anglo-Swedish giant had misstated data on an anaemia drug the two were working on.

Indeed, the investment fraternity appeared blindsided by the admission by FibroGen earlier this week.

American bank Jefferies has cut its peak sales estimate by two-thirds to US$1bn a year.

Citi in a note to clients on Thursday said it was sticking with its 2030 US$1.3bn revenue forecast for FibroGen-discovered Roxadustat, explaining it had “always remained well below a declining consensus”.

The American bank kept its ‘buy’ advice and £100 price target for shares in AZ. At 12.30 pm, the stock was changing hands for £72.71, up 2.4% on the day.

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