"The impact of tapering by the Fed on income fund investments in pharmaceuticals looks to be less than we had feared," says Jefferies' Jeffrey Holford, upping AstraZeneca (AZN +1%) to a Hold. He notes management recently took steps to boost near-term core EPS and reduce pressure on payout ratios - investors should be reassured of a steady dividend being maintained.
UBS also gives a boost, initiating the stock with a Buy rating.
Earlier: Holford upgrades JNJ to a Buy.
See also: UBS launches coverage on a number of other big pharma names.