A recent run of good form for shares of the UK drugs giant reminds us that that five years after the current CEO managed to keep his job by warding off a takeover, the company still struggles to achieve the true critical mass of an international player. At the same time, issues such as opioids, dry pipelines and generic competition are now in focus. This means that the very plus points Pascal Soriot argued previously are the reasons Astra should remain independent are the very reasons now that his company should provide rich pickings for a third party. Anyone who would like to read a great puff piece on the matter should read the recent Sky News article.
But whether or not this happens in the near term, we have the stock well placed within a rising trend channel on the daily chart in place since August. The beginning of this month witnessed a gap reversal flush out, presumably to remove weak bulls, so much so that one would not now expect any weakness back below the 50 day moving average at 5,943p. While above this the upside at the top of the channel at 6,800p should beckon over the next few weeks.