Analyst Tim Anderson on AstraZeneca: The long, slow crawl out

AstraZeneca offices in England. The firm, which also has facilitiesin Delaware, announced more job cuts.

AstraZeneca, which had two announcements this week about staff cuts, also tried to spread a little pharmaceutical sunshine with an investor day in New York.

"There were no major surprises or sudden solutions – which we weren't expecting anyway – suggesting a long, slow crawl out from beneath a host of past problems," Bernstein Research analyst Tim Anderson wrote in a note to clients. "Many of the proposed solutions appear reasonable (and in-line with expectations) yet some of them will probably be viewed by investors with a measure of caution and skepticism.

"On balance, we continue to think AZN is likely "at the bottom" and that the dividend is safe (current yield ~6%). This makes it tempting given low investor expectations and AZN's low relative valuation. The downside is that the stock stays at the bottom for a prolonged period because solutions like these generally play out only slowly, and that investors only earn their ~6% during this period of gradual rebuilding. Furthermore, earnings will very likely continue to go down for a number of years before they go up again."

Here is a link to the slides portion of the company's presentation.