AstraZeneca shares are down nearly 2% on the London Stock Exchange today, after two negative analyses.

UBS confirms its sell recommendation on the stock, with a target lowered to 9900 pence (from 10,700 pence) following the company's Q4 2023 results.

' The fourth quarter has raised investor concerns about cost acceleration. We continue to see gross margin, increased R&D as a pressure on margins relative to consensus over time' says the analyst firm.

' We expect another year of strong growth in 2024, driven by the continued adoption of our medicines in all countries ' said CEO Pascal Soriot. AstraZeneca expects 2024 sales and 2024 adjusted EPS to rise by 10-14%.

Barclays maintains its 'overweight' recommendation on AstraZeneca with a price target cut from £135 to £125, in the wake of its lowered 2024 EPS guidance of 2% for the British pharmaceutical company.

"The last time AstraZeneca moved this much on a business point (third quarter 2021), the scale of the EPS disappointment and subsequent downgrades was much greater", notes the broker after last week's publication.

Barclays adds that the share is down 7% since the publication and stands at a 52-week low. We believe that this is a convincing entry point for a blue-chip company", it concludes.

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