Analyst: AZ "worst performer" in pharma

So, Dresdner Kleinwort, tell us how you really feel about AstraZeneca. The investment bank, which just started covering AstraZeneca's stock, minced no words in its first report. The company's in "serious trouble," the analysts said, and quite possibly will be the worst performer in Big Pharma for the next eight years. At best, it'll manage a 1 percent growth in revenue, the analysts estimated; at worst, it'll drop 3 percent.

The basis for this bleak assessment? The company's three biggest sales-generators will get generic competition in the near future, and eight patents expire over the next eight years. Together that amounts to 60 percent of AZ's revenue. Even products ostensibly covered by patents through 2015, such as Nexium, Seroquel, and Crestor, face challenges that could expose them much, much sooner. The analysts weren't cheered by products coming up the pipeline, either.

Like all criticism, stock reports are subjective. Other analysts aren't as negative about AstraZeneca's prospects. And even the Kleinwort analyst said he was "mildly positive" about Crestor's approval for atherosclerosis treatment.

- read about Dresdner Kleinwort's rating at in-Pharma Technologist
- check out this assessment from New Ratings
- get more on Crestor from The Times

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