AstraZeneca vaccine turns profitable in Q3, drugmaker banking on new orders

(Reuters) – AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine contributed one cent to earnings per share in the third quarter and it expects the shot to move to “modest profitability” on new orders after the drugmaker on Friday posted $1.05 billion sales for the period.

The Anglo-Swedish company, which has said will not make a profit from the shot during the pandemic, this week unveiled plans to set up a separate division for vaccines and antibody treatments to focus on its coronavirus efforts.

AstraZeneca said the limited profit from the vaccine in the fourth quarter would make up for costs related to its antibody cocktail for preventing and treating COVID-19, as it stuck with its overall forecasts for the year.

Total revenue jumped 47% to $9.74 billion for the three months to September on a constant-currency basis, while core earnings came in at $1.08 per share, the company said.

Analysts on average were expecting profit of $1.28 per share on sales of $9.4 billion, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

(Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru and Ludwig Burger in Frankfurt; Editing by Mark Potter, Elaine Hardcastle)

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