FTSE 100 shares to buy: AstraZeneca has rediscovered its growth mojo

first_img Kevin Godbold | Thursday, 11th February, 2021 | More on: AZN I’m sure you’ll agree that’s quite the statement from Motley Fool Co-Founder Tom Gardner.But since our US analyst team first recommended shares in this unique tech stock back in 2016, the value has soared.What’s more, we firmly believe there’s still plenty of upside in its future. In fact, even throughout the current coronavirus crisis, its performance has been beating Wall St expectations.And right now, we’re giving you a chance to discover exactly what has got our analysts all fired up about this niche industry phenomenon, in our FREE special report, A Top US Share From The Motley Fool. Image source: Getty Images. See all posts by Kevin Godbold With FTSE 100 biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca (LSE: AZN), I think the Research and Development (R&D) pipeline is a key factor to consider. I’d invest in the firm’s shares because of the potential for earnings to grow from the sale of new medicines.Growth powered by new medicinesAnd today’s full-year results report contains good news. More than half the firm’s total revenue in 2020 came from “fast-growing” new medicines. And because they’re new, the products have names I’ve never heard of, such as Tagrisso, Imfinzi, Lynparza and several others.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…But AstraZeneca reckons the new medicines are “pillars” in the therapy areas of Oncology, Cardiovascular (CV), Renal & Metabolism (CVRM), and Respiratory & Immunology. And looking ahead, the directors describe the new clutch of products as “important platforms for future growth.”The R&D pipeline has been successful in churning out big-selling medicines. And that’s turned the company around from the dark days of just a few years ago. Back then, earnings were falling. Previous top-sellers had been timing-out of patent protection, leaving the company’s markets wide open to cheaper competition.How things have changed. Today’s figures, adjusted for constant currency exchange rates, show that revenue increased by 10% year-on-year in 2020. And core (adjusted) earnings per share rose by 18%. Chief executive Pascal Soriot described the outcome as a “significant step forward” for AstraZeneca.He thinks the company’s “industry-leading” pipeline and “consistent execution” will deliver more progress and “compelling results” in the years ahead. Meanwhile, City analysts have pencilled in a further advance in earnings for 2021 close to 26%.A fair valuationThe potential growth in earnings looks attractive, but AstraZeneca has been cautious with the shareholder dividend. The directors confirmed their commitment to a progressive dividend policy but kept the total payment flat at $2.80 per share.With the stock near 7,397p, the forward-looking earnings multiple is around 20 for 2021. And the anticipated dividend yield is close to 2.8%. I think that valuation looks fair compared to AstraZeneca’s potential to grow its earnings in the years ahead.Indeed, AstraZeneca has re-discovered its growth mojo. In the report, Soriot points to the “consistent achievements” in the pipeline and the “accelerating” performance of the business. He thinks those factors demonstrate strong progress, as does the performance the firm is achieving with the rollout of its Covid-19 vaccine.The company’s Regulatory News Service (RNS) feed has been vibrant with multiple notifications of progress on several fronts. Although the past isn’t a reliable guide to the future, things are going well for the firm right now.I’m tempted to buy some of AstraZeneca’s shares now for my long-term portfolio. Perhaps the biggest risk is that the R&D pipeline could stall in the future and forward earnings growth could tail off. If that happens, we could see the valuation de-rate and I could lose money.Nevertheless, I like the look of the stock today and I think the risks are balanced by the potential. Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee. FTSE 100 shares to buy: AstraZeneca has rediscovered its growth mojo Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this.center_img Kevin Godbold has no position in any share mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. “This Stock Could Be Like Buying Amazon in 1997” Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. Click here to claim your copy now — and we’ll tell you the name of this Top US Share… free of charge! Enter Your Email Addresslast_img

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