Market Report: AstraZeneca to deliver trial results at the weekend


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The Independent Online

AstraZeneca investors are hoping the drugs do work for the pharmaceutical giant when it delivers trial results at the weekend.

The company is set to present full clinical trial results for its key heart drug Brilinta at a meeting of the American College of Cardiology on Sunday and UBS thinks the results could be “key to unlocking Brilinta’s multi-billion blockbuster potential”.

The investment bank predicts Astra will shift $1.5bn worth of the drug by 2020, but says the figure could be as high as $4bn if Sunday’s test results are favourable. Astra jumped 174.5p to 4,479p.

The FTSE 100 continued its slow slog back to the record levels reached in recent weeks, climbing 39.56 points to 6,761.07. Irish building materials group CRH recovered 65p to 1,807p after cement giants Holcim and Lafarge said they were renegotiating their merger, putting paid to fears that the deal could come a cropper. CRH is due to buy assets off the pair as part of the deal but was hit by wobbles earlier in the week after one of Holcim’s largest shareholders called for the Swiss company to seek better terms.

Oil and gas operator Soco International tumbled 83.4p to 158.6p as it revealed profits collapsed from $104.1m in 2013 to just $14m last year. The company, which operates in Vietnam and Africa, lost $79.5m on a project in a national park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Soco was forced to abandon the venture after intense opposition from environmental groups.

Eastern European vodka maker Stock Spirits jumped 14.25p to 205p thanks to a leap in profits from €8.9m to €35.8m last year. But revenue dipped and the company warned it would continue to experience problems in key market Poland due to a 15 per cent rise in excise duty.

Mobile voucher specialist Eagle Eye successfully raised £4m through the placing of just shy of 3m shares at 200p apiece. The funds will be put towards product development. It came as the company, wbacked by former Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy, revealed a 276 per cent jump in revenue to £2.3m and a 200 per cent rise in profit to £1.5m. Eagle Eye dipped 3.5p to 210p.