Even with the stock’s 22% run-up this year, AstraZeneca (AZN) still pays dividends at a rate of 4.9% — the best of the big-name pharma stocks. But wait a minute … wasn’t this London-based pharma name supposed to be in trouble thanks to its rapid approach towards the patent cliff?
As it turns out, the company saw it coming years ahead of time, and did something about it. Sales for 2013 are on pace to be down nearly 8% compared to 2012’s top line, and the pros see another revenue slide coming in 2014. Beyond that, however, it’s apt to start growing again on the heels of a likely approval of the company’s diabetes drug, dapagliflozin.
Some believe U.S. sales of dapagliflozin alone could be worth more than $600 million per year.