This Time Equifax Is Under Attack, Astrazeneca Is Undervalued


    In a cyber-attack on Equifax, hackers have stolen customer data in a big way. The attack took place from mid-May to July and effects approximately 143 million US consumers, the US financial service provider informed on Thursday. In hundreds of thousands of cases, cyber criminals had access to sensitive data such as social security or credit card numbers.

    The incident was found on 29 July in an internal investigation, the security gap was immediately closed, explained the company. Some customers from Canada and Great Britain are also affected to a lesser extent. The supervisory authorities had been informed and external specialists were appointed for a deep examination. It was still too early to figure the losses.

    Investors reacted nervously, the Equifax stock fell after-market by more than five percent. CEO Richard Smith apologized to the affected customers and spoke of a blow that had targeted the heart of the company. For Equifax the incident is particularly unpleasant because the company itself offers products against data and identity theft by hackers.

    However, it is not the first time that the company is aware of cyber-attacks. According to US media, financial data and personal information from US celebrities had been stolen by Equifax in 2013. Those concerned included Beyoncé, Ashton Kutcher and Mel Gibson, as well as First Lady Michelle Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden.

    At the end of July, Astrazeneca left the cat out of the bag and published the data from the important MYSTIC study. At the same time, the company was concerned about the disappointment, the share fell by about 15 per cent. In addition, rumors about a possible departure of Astrazeneca CEO Pascal Soriot surfaced. On Thursday, the pharmaceutical giant was finally able to draw attention again with a strong message.

    In asthma medication Tezepelumab, Astrazeneca and the partner Amgen published positive phase 2 data. The results were published in the journal New England Journal of Medicine – in an early phase of development, Barclays says. The Bank’s “Overweight” rating remains unchanged. Even more optimistic for Astrazeneca remains the Citigroup. Expert Andre Baum advises to buy the Astrazeneca share despite the flopped MYSTIC study. The lung cancer study had missed the expectations. Nevertheless, the turnover and profit contributions of the cancer products Tagrisso, Imfinzi and Lynparza are underestimated, said Baum.

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    I am a lecturer at the University of Economics in Bratislava, department of Banking and International Finance. I have a Ph.D. academic degree, my dissertation was focused on major markets. Commodities and stock markets are also the main focus of my research and publication activities. I have approximately 10 years of investing experiences. My investments mostly focus on small- to mid-cap companies of energy sector, financial and technology.