AstraZeneca (LSE: AZN) (NYSE: AZN.US) published its second quarter and half-year results for 2013 this morning.
Core operating profit in the second quarter was down 10% on a constant exchange rate basis (CER) at $2,056 million, on revenue that dropped down 4%, to $6,232 million (CER). The fall in revenue was attributed to the loss of 'exclusivity' on several of AstraZeneca's key brands, which resulted in a drop of $500m in revenue over the quarter. Revenue for the other products in the company's portfolio actually rose 4%, with double-digit growth seen in its five key "growth platforms" of emerging markets, Japan, Brilinta (a cardiac treatment), diabetes franchise and respiratory franchise.
Core earnings-per-share (EPS) decreased by 21%, due both to a higher tax rate and the fact that 2012's EPS was boosted by a £240m tax settlement. The board has recommended a dividend of $0.90 per share, slightly below the company's target of declaring a first interim payment of around one-third the previous year's total dividend, which was $2.80.
Looking ahead, the company said that its struggling pipeline had been strengthened by the addition of three promising late-stage treatments in core therapeutic areas of cardiovascular/metabolism and respiratory diseases.
Commenting on the results, CEO Pascal Soriot said:
"We have made real progress in the second quarter against our strategic priorities despite the anticipated impact on revenue of the loss of exclusivity for some brands. We continue to invest in distinctive science, our pipeline projects, products and key markets and our five key growth platforms delivered a double-digit increase in revenue contribution. ... In announcing the Cambridge Biomedical Campus as the location of our new UK strategic centre, we also reaffirmed our commitment to invest in research and development productivity."
At the time of writing AstraZeneca's share price was down close to 1%, at 3,310p -- that's 14% up so far in 2013 and just over 9% up on this time last year. AstraZeneca's dividend yield for 2013 should be around 5.7% and is expected to stay flat into 2014.
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