If you'd invested in: AstraZeneca and Mitie Group

Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca is expected to grow its earnings, while outsourcer Mitie's share rice has been hit by a series of profit warnings.

If only...

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Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca (LSE: AZN) is expected to grow its earnings per share (EPS) in 2018, after four years of stagnant profits. Last month Astra reported that drug sales fell by 2% to $10bn (in constant currency terms) in the first half of 2018, while core operating profits were down 34% to $2.2bn. However, sales from new medicines rose by 69%, thanks largely to a strong performance from its cancer drugs including Tagrisso, which has benefited from its recent approval as the first-choice treatment for lung-cancer patients in Europe.

Be glad you didn't buy...

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Mitie Group (LSE: MTO) provides services to owners and occupiers of commercial and industrial properties. The outsourcer, which was hit by several profit warnings and investigations by financial regulators last year, came under scrutiny after Carillion's collapse in January this year. However, in June it reported a pre-tax loss of £24.7m, down from £58.2m the previous year, while revenues rose 3.8% to £2.2bn. Mitie's chief executive Phil Bentley claims the firm's turnaround is on track and that it will return to profit this year as cost saving measures start to take effect.

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