Can This Slumping Big Pharma Stock Make a Comeback?

Can This Slumping Big Pharma Stock Make a Comeback?

AstraZeneca has been anything but a top stock lately. This big pharma member has seen sales slump by 15% in its most recent fiscal year alone, part of a huge hit from the patent cliff that continues to hamper the company's future outlook. The stock's only gained around 8% year-to-date, far less than some of its more accomplished rivals that have managed to beat back the worst of the patent cliff in recent quarters.

The future isn't looking much brighter right now, as AstraZeneca's suffering from a lackluster pipeline and further projected sales declines next year. AstraZeneca has looked around the health care sector in hopes of finding the right acquisition to bolster its future, but so far, it's come up with only modest successes. Credit Suisse projected earlier in the year that the company will need $6 billion in new annual sales just to average 2% annual growth by 2016, a tall order for a company nowhere near revenue growth right now.

But can AstraZeneca's current drugs in development help stem the bleeding? This week, the company launched a phase 3 trial of its promising non-small-cell lung cancer drug candidate selumetinib. Can this drug help ease AstraZeneca investors' worries? In the video below, Fool contributor Dan Carroll tells you what you need to know about selumetinib's outlook-and whether it will be the beginning of a long road back for AstraZeneca and its flailing finances.

The top dividend stocks for your portfolio's health
AstraZeneca has long been a strong dividend stock, but while this pick's suffered recently, smart dividend investors know to rely on diversifying their portfolios and waiting for the long term gains. Over the long term, the compounding effect of dividend stocks' quarterly payouts, as well as their growth, adds up faster than most investors imagine. With this in mind, our analysts sat down to identify the absolute best of the best when it comes to rock-solid dividend stocks, drawing up a list in this free report of nine that fit the bill. To discover the identities of these companies before the rest of the market catches on, you can download this valuable free report by simply clicking here now.

The article Can This Slumping Big Pharma Stock Make a Comeback? originally appeared on

Fool contributor Dan Carroll has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Johnson & Johnson. The Motley Fool owns shares of Johnson & Johnson. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 - 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Originally published