Skip to content

CFDs are leveraged products. CFD trading may not be suitable for everyone and can result in losses that exceed your deposits, so please consider our Risk Disclosure Notice and ensure that you fully understand the risks involved. CFDs are leveraged products. CFD trading may not be suitable for everyone and can result in losses that exceed your deposits, so please consider our Risk Disclosure Notice and ensure that you fully understand the risks involved.

How to buy and short AstraZeneca shares

AstraZeneca is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. Here, we explain how you can buy and short AstraZeneca shares – and we give a company history and tell you how to analyse its fundamentals.

AstraZeneca Source: Bloomberg

How to buy AstraZeneca shares

You can buy AstraZeneca shares by trading derivatives.

With derivatives such assuch as CFDs, you can speculate on the AstraZeneca share price increasing without having to take direct ownership of the shares themselves. You can also trade with leverage which means that you only need to commit a portion of the position size to receive full market exposure.

Follow the steps below to trade AstraZeneca shares:

Trading AstraZeneca shares

  1. Create an CFD trading account with IG Bank or log in to your existing account
  2. Search for ‘AstraZeneca’
  3. Choose your position size
  4. Confirm your trade and monitor your position

Not sure about which is best for you? Learn more about the differences between trading and investing.

How to short AstraZeneca shares

You might want to short AstraZeneca shares if you are trading with CFDs to speculate on the price falling.

Follow the steps below to sell or short AstraZeneca shares:

Shorting AstraZeneca shares

  1. Create an IG Bank trading account or log in to your existing account
  2. Search for ‘AstraZeneca’
  3. Choose your position size
  4. Choose ‘sell’ in the deal ticket to open a short position and speculate on the price falling
  5. Confirm the trade and monitor your position

AstraZeneca's live market prices

Understanding AstraZeneca: a brief history

AstraZeneca was formed on 6 April 1999 following a merger of the Swedish company Astra AB, and the British company Zeneca Group.

Since then, the company has made a series of significant breakthroughs in medical research and treatment of illness. For example, its drug Iressa was approved in Japan for non-small cell lung cancer in 2002. Other medicines that the company makes include vaccines for influenza, drugs to reduce inflammation in a patient’s lungs and treatments for arthritis.

As well as medicinal advancements and inventions, AstraZeneca has also made a series of high-profile acquisitions. These include Cambridge Antibody Technology in 2006, Spirogen in 2013, and Definiens in 2014.

AstraZeneca shares: the basics

The company trades under the AZN ticker, with a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and secondary listings on the New York Stock Exchange and the OMX Exchange. AstraZeneca is a component of the FTSE 100.

Between the merger on 6 April 1999 and 6 February 2020, the AstraZeneca share price increased by 185%. The stock gains can be put down to the strong company leadership, as well as the progress that the company has made in producing and distributing medicines that are in high demand.

Below, you can find a price graph which shows the growth in value of AstraZeneca shares between 6 March 2017 and 6 February 2020.

AstraZeneca key personnel: who manages the company?

There are 12 people on the AstraZeneca executive leadership team:

Pascal Soriot

Executive director and chief executive officer

Marc Dunoyer

Executive director and chief financial officer

Katarina Ageborg

Executive vice-president, sustainability and chief compliance officer; president AstraZeneca Sweden

Jose Baselga

Executive vice-president, oncology research and development

Pam Cheng

Executive vice-president, operations and information technology

Fiona Cicconi

Executive vice-president, human resources

Rudd Dobber

Executive vice-president, biopharmaceuticals business unit

David Fredrickson

Executive vice-president, oncology business unit

Menelas Pangalos

Executive vice-president, biopharmaceuticals research and development

Jeff Pott

General counsel

Iskra Reic

Executive vice-president, Europe and Canada

Leon Wang

Executive vice-president, International

What is AstraZeneca’s business model?

AstraZeneca’s business model is based on making medicines and treatments which contribute value to both patients and to society. Their treatments focus on three main areas: ‘oncology’, ‘cardiovascular, renal and metabolism’ (CVRM) and ‘respiratory disease’.

The company has a global presence for developing and distributing medicines in these areas of expertise, including in emerging markets – particularly China. The company is focused on being patient-centric, increasing the use of technology in their medicines, and advancing cutting-edge science in these fields of care.

Fundamental analysis: how to analyse the AstraZeneca share price

If you want to analyse the AstraZeneca share price, you can carry out a fundamental analysis of the company. Fundamental analysis is different to technical analysis – which is primarily concerned with chart patterns and price action – as it attempts to determine the inherent profitability of a company based on financial statements, company leadership and other macroeconomic factors.

You can find the company’s financial information on its website and within the company’s annual report. Some of the fundamental metrics you can use to determine the value of AstraZeneca shares include earnings per share (EPS), price-to-earnings (P/E) and return on equity (ROE).

  • EPS attempts to forecast how profitable AstraZeneca is. To calculate EPS, divide AstraZeneca’s profit by the number of outstanding shares
  • P/E shows how much you’d have to spend on AstraZeneca shares to make $1 in profit. To calculate the P/E ratio, divide AstraZeneca’s share price by its EPS
  • ROE compares AstraZeneca’s income from its assets against its shareholder investments. To calculate ROE, you’d divide AstraZeneca’s net income by stakeholder equity


1 Deposits for leveraged trades are 20%-25% on 99.11% of tier one UK shares.

The information on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG Bank S.A. accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer.

Explore the markets with our free course

Learn how shares work – and discover the wide range of markets you can trade CDFs on – with IG Academy's free ’introducing the financial markets’ course.

Put learning into action

Try out what you’ve learned in this shares strategy article risk-free in your demo account.

Ready to trade shares?

Put the lessons in this article to use in a live account – upgrading is quick and easy.

  • Trade over 12 000 popular global stocks
  • Protect your capital with risk management tools
  • React to breaking news with out-of-hours trading on 70 key US stocks

Inspired to trade?

Put your new knowledge into practice. Log in to your account now.

What is the number one mistake traders make?

We reveal the top potential pitfall and how to avoid it. Discover how to increase your chances of trading success, with data gleaned from over 100,000 IG accounts.

For more info on how we might use your data, see our privacy notice and access policy and privacy webpage.

You might be interested in…

Find out what charges your trades could incur with our transparent fee structure.

Discover why so many clients choose us, and what makes us a world-leading provider of CFDs.

Stay on top of upcoming market-moving events with our customisable economic calendar.