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AstraZeneca Q1 earnings fall YOY as Crestor sales decline

AstraZeneca PLC said first-quarter earnings fell and reiterated its 2018 guidance.

The Cambridge, U.K.-based drugmaker's first-quarter core EPS was 48 cents, down 51% year over year. Core operating profit was $896 million for the quarter, down 46% from 2017.

The S&P Capital IQ consensus normalized EPS estimate for the first quarter is 52 cents.

The drugmaker's total revenue for the quarter was $5.18 billion, down 4% from the same period last year. Product sales rose 3% year over year to $4.99 billion.

AstraZeneca said the strong performance of the company's products in China and new drugs was offset by the decline of its former blockbuster cholesterol drug Crestor in Europe in Japan. Crestor sales, which were eroded by generic competition, were down 38% to $389 million.

The company recently declined to comment on reports it is considering the sale of Crestor.

Research and development expenses for the first quarter were $1.28 billion, down from $1.45 billion in the first quarter of 2017.

For full year 2018, the company still expects a low-single-digit percentage increase for product sales at constant exchange rates. AstraZeneca also maintains its core EPS forecast of $3.30 to $3.50.

The S&P Capital IQ consensus normalized EPS estimate for 2018 is $2.97.