The company said it expects challenging market conditions to persist in 2013, with the first quarter of the year expected to be "particularly challenging" since Seroquel and Crestor — in Canada — haven't yet reached a full year since generics entered the market.
At Hargreaves Landsdowne, equity analyst Keith Bowman warned that, unlike other companies in the medical field, AstraZeneca "does not enjoy the cushion of alternative revenue streams such as consumer health care" and noted a "general lack of optimism" surrounding its developmental pipeline.
But Panmure analyst Savvas Neophytou said the results were "not as bad as they could have been," noting that fourth-quarter results were more resilient than expected.
AstraZeneca's fourth-quarter net profit edged higher to 1.52 billion pounds from 1.49 billion pounds in the same period a year earlier, while revenue slipped to 7.3 billion pounds from 8.7 billion pounds.
Stocks in AstraZeneca fell 4.8 percent to 30 pounds a share in early morning trading on the London Stock Exchange.