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AstraZeneca Sweetens the Pot for Investors with Higher Dividend

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AstraZeneca Boosts Dividend on Strong Performance

AstraZeneca, a major British pharmaceutical company, announced a 7% increase in its annual dividend to $3.10 per share. This move reflects their confidence in their financial health and future cash generation, according to a statement released before their annual general meeting in London. The news boosted the company’s share price by over 1% despite a broader market decline.

AstraZeneca’s chairman, Michel Demare, emphasized that the dividend hike aligns with their established policy of increasing payouts over time. He also highlighted the company’s ongoing strength as an attractive investment for shareholders.

This decision comes after AstraZeneca reported a significant profit surge in February. Their net profit nearly doubled to $6 billion in 2023, driven by a robust cancer treatment division that offset declining sales of COVID-19 therapies. Overall revenue increased by 3% to almost $46 billion, despite a $3.7 billion drop in COVID treatment sales. The company’s oncology unit sales, however, saw a significant 23% jump.

Further solidifying their focus on cancer treatments, AstraZeneca recently acquired US biopharma firm Fusion for up to $2.4 billion last month. Fusion specializes in developing next-generation radiotherapy techniques for precise tumor targeting with minimal damage to healthy tissue. This technology also allows access to previously hard-to-reach tumors using traditional radiation methods.

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