By Cecilia Butini 
 

AstraZeneca PLC said Thursday that it has raised its core earnings-per-share guidance for 2021 following the completion of its acquisition of Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc., though profit for the second quarter declined on year.

Net profit for the quarter was $550 million, down from $756 million a year prior, on sales that grew to $8.22 billion from $6.28 billion, including revenue generated from the company's Covid-19 vaccine.

Core earnings per share were $0.90 in the quarter, down from $0.96 in the same quarter a year prior, as the metric continued to suffer from the impact of the company's Covid-19 vaccine, which AstraZeneca is developing at no profit.

The company said its earnings per share took a hit of $0.01 in the second quarter as a result of the impact of the Covid-19 vaccine, and a $0.04 hit in the first half. The vaccine had a negative impact of $0.03 on EPS during the first quarter.

AstraZeneca raised its guidance for core EPS growth in 2021 following the recently completed acquisition of Alexion Pharmaceuticals and the issuance of new shares. It said it expects total revenue to increase by a percentage in the low 20s and core EPS to be in the range of $5.05 to $5.40. It had previously guided for the metric to be in a range of $4.75 and $5.

"The guidance does not incorporate any revenue or profit impact from sales of the pandemic Covid-19 vaccine," AstraZeneca said, adding that it recognizes uncertainties related to the effects of the pandemic, including the impact from potential new medicines for Covid-19 in clinical development.

AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine generated revenue of $894 million in the quarter and $1.17 billion in the first half, which reflected the delivery of about 319 million doses world-wide, the company said.

 

Write to Cecilia Butini at cecilia.butini@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 29, 2021 04:14 ET (08:14 GMT)

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