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AstraZeneca jumps to net profit of $808 million in Q4

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AstraZeneca   Revenue was $6.4 billion

AstraZeneca posted a net profit of $808 million in the fourth quarter ending December 31, compared with a loss of $321 million in the year-earlier period.

It reported revenue of $6.4 billion, a 5% decrease from $6.7 billion a year ago; stripping out the effect of the strong dollar, it increased 2%.

Core net profit, a measure which excludes certain one-time items, rose 26% to $1.2 billion. Analysts expected revenue of $6.3 billion and core net profit of $1.2 billion.

The company's financial results were boosted by proceeds from a series of licensing deals that involve AstraZeneca relinquishing the rights to develop and commercialize certain drugs in its pipeline in return for an upfront payment plus milestones.

In the fourth quarter, AstraZeneca received $192 million from such deals. Chief Executive Pascal Soriot has said this so-called externalization strategy allows Astra to focus on the diseases where it has most expertise while creating value from those drugs that sit outside these areas.

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