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AstraZeneca weighs on FTSE on fears boss to leave

Pharmaceutical giant falls to bottom of FTSE 100 on report chief executive Pascal Soriot will leave to join Israeli drugs company Teva.

 
AstraZeneca weighs on FTSE on fears boss to leave

AstraZeneca (AZN) has fallen to the bottom of the FTSE 100 after it was reported chief executive Pascal Soriot will leave to join Israeli drugs group Teva.

Shares in the group fell 4.7% to £49.48, while the FTSE 100 edged four points higher to 7,421. Israeli financial website Calcalist last night reported Teva was expected to name Soriot as its new boss. Shares in Teva jumped 5.4% on the news.

UBS analyst Jack Scannell said that if true, the news would be a blow to AstraZeneca. 'Soriot is well regarded and the most positive interpretation would be that he thinks he has effected a major corporate transformation during five years at Astra, and that it might be more interesting (and, according to the press reports, perhaps more lucrative) to effect another corporate transformation than hang around. Even this though could potentially be received negatively,' he said.

'A bearish interpretation could be that he has less confidence in the path that Astra has transformed itself to pursue. This could range from less confidence in the general scientific evidence for Astra's combination immune-oncology, or it could be broader.'

Outside the FTSE 100, Carillion (CLLN) continued its plunge, down 3.2% at 55.4p, having lost 71% of its value since the infrastructure and construction firm issued a profit warning on Monday.

Game Digitial (GMDG) jumped 11.3% after Mike Ashley's Sports Direct (SPD) announced it had taken a 26% stake in the video games retailer.

Oxford BioMedica (OXB) jumped 6% to 9.9p  as Swiss drug maker Novartis moved a step closer to gaining approval for a new cancer therapy. Oxford BioMedica has developed a gene delivery system that works alongside the new drug.

5 comments so far. Why not have your say?

SDRL

Jul 13, 2017 at 11:44

Neil Woodford sold GSK and kept AZN which I feel is an example of trading too much. It could be that the AZN CEO is leaving because he is not very confident of their new cancer drug which is in clinical trials. GSK is taking a more conservative approach and not putting all their eggs in one basket and Woodford should not have sold GSK. Further, Woodford buying Loyds bank in a low interest environmen was not a good move after the Lloyds bank stock ran up so much.

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Andrew Stevenson

Jul 13, 2017 at 11:53

January 5, 2014: Pfizer makes first offer

Pfizer makes a £59bn offer to AstraZeneca when they meet for talks. It comprises 1.758 shares plus £13.98 cash per AstraZeneca share, a 70pc/30pc split.

Pascal Soriot told share holders that thanks to his brilliance he would grow the company share price. Well he certainly hasn't performed well enough to grow the company and make it worth £59 a share, and now he's doing a runner....thanks a lot Pascal

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SDRL

Jul 13, 2017 at 12:08

Andew,

Pfizer is a good stock to buy now with a 3.8% dividend and a very big portfolio in their pipeline.

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Jaymak

Jul 13, 2017 at 18:06

Would disagree with comment re Lloyds Bank. if you are willing to play the waiting game, as Woodford is, they will rise to circa £1.20, meantime dividends are good.

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Franco

Jul 13, 2017 at 21:52

I see even unit trusts have back seat drivers. You should have turned left there Woodford..

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