Monday, January 09, 2012

AstraZeneca reaffirms outlook after mistaken release of confidential info - Yahoo!

LONDON - Britain's second largest drugmaker AstraZeneca was forced to reiterate its 2011 and mid-term financial forecasts on Monday after inadvertently releasing confidential company information to analysts.

The Anglo-Swedish firm, which is struggling to keep pace with its European peers, described the released details as "out of date planning information" which it said did not represent its forecast for the full year for 2011 or for future periods.

"The most recent update of the company's financial guidance for 2011 was issued on 20 December 2011," it said.

"Today, the company reaffirms this guidance; the company continues to expect to report core earnings per share for the full year 2011 in the lower half of the range of $7.20 to $7.40."

The group also repeated its expectations for revenue, margins and cash deployment for the period between 2010 to 2014, which had been given a year ago.

AstraZeneca, which suffered a double blow to its drug pipline last month resulting in a $381.5 million (247.1 million pound) pretax charge, said the mistaken information had slipped out during "a routine consensus collection process."

"Confidential company information was inadvertently embedded in a spreadsheet template sent to the sell-side analyst community that follows the company," its statement said.

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