Pharma giants AstraZeneca, Sanofi beat estimates

STORY: Numbers out Thursday (April 27) suggest there's life after the health crisis for Europe's big drugmakers.

Both AstraZeneca and Sanofi posted better than expected first-quarter results.

While demand for health crisis products has dropped off, AstraZeneca made up for that with strong sales of its drugs in emerging markets.

Sales of its cancer drug Imfinzi also drove earnings and brought in $900 million during the quarter.

Overall, the London-listed company made sales of $10.9 billion, $300 million above analyst forecasts.

French drugmaker Sanofi also posted better-than-expected earnings for the first quarter.

Its anti-inflammatory drug Dupixent contributed heavily to that.

Sanofi reported an 8.7% rise in quarterly business operating income to $3.7 billion.

That was also well above analyst forecasts.

Looking ahead, the drugmaker said it expected adjusted earnings per share to grow by a "low single digit" this year.

AstraZeneca shares gained over half a percent on Thursday morning, with Sanofi down by a similar amount.