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published in Blogs
Jul 28, 2020

It’s Big Pharma’s Turn in the Earnings Confessional

Many of the top pharmaceutical companies are working on a vaccination for COVID-19. It seems as if new trial results are released on a daily basis for one drug or another. The global pandemic has certainly changed the fortunes for a number of companies and the attention is obviously warranted.

We don’t have a vaccine yet and there is definitely a race on between big pharma companies to produce a viable vaccine. In the meantime, it seems as if the earnings reports of the companies have taken a backseat to the vaccine research. That may change this week as several major pharmaceutical companies will report earnings on Thursday and Friday.

AstraZeneca (AZN) and Eli Lilly (LLY) are both set to report earnings on Thursday, July 30. Merck (MRK) is set to report on Friday, July 31.

Looking at the Tickeron scorecard, Eli Lilly is rated as a “strong buy” and Astrazeneca is rated as a “buy”. Merck doesn’t fare as well and is rated as a “sell”. The major pharmaceutical industry as a whole is rated as a “sell” so these three are above average as a group. Looking at the price change of these three stocks over the past year we see that Merck has not performed well compared to Lilly and Astrazeneca. Lilly is up over 50% and Astrazeneca is up almost 34%. Merck is down ever so slightly over the last 12 months.

We see that Lilly does extremely well with its fundamental ratings with five positive readings and not a single negative one. Astrazeneca does almost as well with four positive readings and one negative reading. We see the summary below and it includes all of the positive ratings for Astra. The two that aren’t shown for Lilly are its outlook and its seasonality score.

Merck doesn’t do terribly on its fundamental ratings. It has three positive ratings and one negative rating. The negative one is pretty high at 73 and that’s the P/E Growth Rating.

I took note of the fact that all three stocks are considered undervalued at this time and all three have really low scores—single-digit low. The Profit Vs. Risk Rating and the SMR Rating for Lilly are also really low and in the single digits. That helps explain why the stock gets a “strong buy” rating.

Turning our attention to the technical analysis ratings, Astra actually scores a little better than Lilly and Merck doesn’t fare as well once again. Astra gets positive ratings in the MACD, Momentum, and Moving Average categories with negative ratings from the Bollinger Bands and the RSI.

Lilly gets positive ratings from the AROON Indicator and from the Bollinger Bands and it gets negative ratings from the RSI and the Momentum Indicator. Merck’s only positive rating is from the Momentum Indicator and it doesn’t get any negative ratings at this time.

If you look at the weekly charts of the three stocks, Astra was in overbought territory based on a 10-week RSI and the weekly stochastic indicators, but a decline last week moved the stock below overbought levels. Lilly was also overbought based on the weekly stochastic readings, but the RSI hasn’t been in overbought territory since February. With Merck lagging the other two and the overall market, its oscillators are down around the middle of the range at this time. Merck has been grinding sideways between $75 and $82.50 since March.

Heading in to the earnings reports, Astra and Lilly have seen small reductions in the EPS estimate over the last three months while Merck’s estimate has dropped more significantly. Astra and Lilly are both expected to see earnings grow compared to the second quarter of 2019, but Merck is expected to see earnings decline by 20%.

One of the more interesting things I found when looking at the sentiment was that Merck had the highest buy percentage from analysts. Of the 18 analysts covering the stock, 13 gave the stock a “buy” rating with five “hold” ratings. This gives us a buy percentage of 72.2%. Astra’s buy percentage is 66.7% and Lilly’s is 53.3%.

None of the three short interest ratios (SIR) are very high, but Astra’s is really low at only 0.2. While this isn’t necessarily a negative for the stock, it just means that a short covering rally isn’t in the works.

Looking at all of the data from all three analysis styles, I am in complete agreement with the Tickeron Scorecard. Lilly looks the best of the three for the long-term and I would also consider it a strong buy. Astrazeneca looks good as well and I think a buy rating is accurate. Merck just doesn’t look all that great right now and probably deserves a sell rating or a hold rating at best.

Related Ticker: AZN

AZN's RSI Indicator ascends from oversold territory

The RSI Indicator for AZN moved out of oversold territory on February 15, 2024. This could be a sign that the stock is shifting from a downward trend to an upward trend. Traders may want to buy the stock or call options. The A.I.dvisor looked at 26 similar instances when the indicator left oversold territory. In of the 26 cases the stock moved higher. This puts the odds of a move higher at .

Price Prediction Chart

Technical Analysis (Indicators)

Bullish Trend Analysis

The Stochastic Oscillator suggests the stock price trend may be in a reversal from a downward trend to an upward trend. of 56 cases where AZN's Stochastic Oscillator exited the oversold zone resulted in an increase in price. Tickeron's analysis proposes that the odds of a continued upward trend are .

The Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) for AZN just turned positive on February 21, 2024. Looking at past instances where AZN's MACD turned positive, the stock continued to rise in of 46 cases over the following month. The odds of a continued upward trend are .

Following a 3-day Advance, the price is estimated to grow further. Considering data from situations where AZN advanced for three days, in of 334 cases, the price rose further within the following month. The odds of a continued upward trend are .

AZN may jump back above the lower band and head toward the middle band. Traders may consider buying the stock or exploring call options.

Bearish Trend Analysis

The Momentum Indicator moved below the 0 level on February 07, 2024. You may want to consider selling the stock, shorting the stock, or exploring put options on AZN as a result. In of 92 cases where the Momentum Indicator fell below 0, the stock fell further within the subsequent month. The odds of a continued downward trend are .

AZN moved below its 50-day moving average on February 08, 2024 date and that indicates a change from an upward trend to a downward trend.

The 10-day moving average for AZN crossed bearishly below the 50-day moving average on February 08, 2024. This indicates that the trend has shifted lower and could be considered a sell signal. In of 17 past instances when the 10-day crossed below the 50-day, the stock continued to move higher over the following month. The odds of a continued downward trend are .

Following a 3-day decline, the stock is projected to fall further. Considering past instances where AZN declined for three days, the price rose further in of 62 cases within the following month. The odds of a continued downward trend are .

The Aroon Indicator for AZN entered a downward trend on February 21, 2024. This could indicate a strong downward move is ahead for the stock. Traders may want to consider selling the stock or buying put options.

Fundamental Analysis (Ratings)

Fear & Greed

The Tickeron Profit vs. Risk Rating rating for this company is (best 1 - 100 worst), indicating low risk on high returns. The average Profit vs. Risk Rating rating for the industry is 70, placing this stock better than average.

The Tickeron Valuation Rating of (best 1 - 100 worst) indicates that the company is slightly undervalued in the industry. This rating compares market capitalization estimated by our proprietary formula with the current market capitalization. This rating is based on the following metrics, as compared to industry averages: P/B Ratio (5.155) is normal, around the industry mean (5.656). P/E Ratio (34.168) is within average values for comparable stocks, (52.989). Projected Growth (PEG Ratio) (0.469) is also within normal values, averaging (3.085). Dividend Yield (0.022) settles around the average of (0.028) among similar stocks. P/S Ratio (4.439) is also within normal values, averaging (3.786).

The Tickeron SMR rating for this company is (best 1 - 100 worst), indicating strong sales and a profitable business model. SMR (Sales, Margin, Return on Equity) rating is based on comparative analysis of weighted Sales, Income Margin and Return on Equity values compared against S&P 500 index constituents. The weighted SMR value is a proprietary formula developed by Tickeron and represents an overall profitability measure for a stock.

The Tickeron Price Growth Rating for this company is (best 1 - 100 worst), indicating fairly steady price growth. AZN’s price grows at a lower rate over the last 12 months as compared to S&P 500 index constituents.

The Tickeron PE Growth Rating for this company is (best 1 - 100 worst), pointing to worse than average earnings growth. The PE Growth rating is based on a comparative analysis of stock PE ratio increase over the last 12 months compared against S&P 500 index constituents.

Notable companies

The most notable companies in this group are Eli Lilly & Co (NYSE:LLY), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Merck & Co (NYSE:MRK), ABBVIE (NYSE:ABBV), AstraZeneca PLC (NASDAQ:AZN), Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN), Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (NYSE:BMY), Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD), Biogen (NASDAQ:BIIB).

Industry description

The Major Pharmaceuticals industry includes companies that are involved in various processes of creating drugs to treat/prevent diseases. These companies engage in research, testing and manufacturing, as well as the distribution of pharmaceuticals into markets. Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co., Inc., Pfizer Inc. and Novartis are among the largest companies in this category.

Market Cap

The average market capitalization across the Pharmaceuticals: Major Industry is 85.05B. The market cap for tickers in the group ranges from 72.83K to 708.1B. LLY holds the highest valuation in this group at 708.1B. The lowest valued company is CRXTQ at 72.83K.

High and low price notable news

The average weekly price growth across all stocks in the Pharmaceuticals: Major Industry was 2%. For the same Industry, the average monthly price growth was 2%, and the average quarterly price growth was -4%. SCLX experienced the highest price growth at 15%, while MIRA experienced the biggest fall at -7%.


The average weekly volume growth across all stocks in the Pharmaceuticals: Major Industry was -17%. For the same stocks of the Industry, the average monthly volume growth was -32% and the average quarterly volume growth was 21%

Fundamental Analysis Ratings

The average fundamental analysis ratings, where 1 is best and 100 is worst, are as follows

Valuation Rating: 29
P/E Growth Rating: 57
Price Growth Rating: 48
SMR Rating: 57
Profit Risk Rating: 69
Seasonality Score: -40 (-100 ... +100)
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General Information

a manufacturer of pharmaceutical products

Industry PharmaceuticalsMajor

Pharmaceuticals Major
1 Francis Crick Avenue
+44 2037495000
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AZN and

Correlation & Price change

A.I.dvisor indicates that over the last year, AZN has been loosely correlated with PFE. These tickers have moved in lockstep 47% of the time. This A.I.-generated data suggests there is some statistical probability that if AZN jumps, then PFE could also see price increases.

Ticker /
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Change %
Loosely correlated
Loosely correlated
Loosely correlated
Loosely correlated
Poorly correlated
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