Another Sign AstraZeneca PLC (AZN) is Hunting for Big Acquisitions?  
10/2/2012 8:58:04 AM

Just a few weeks after being named ceo at AstraZeneca, Pascal Soirot today announced that the drugmaker is suspending all stock buyback programs. The move suggests that he is open to the possibility of pursuing a large-scale acquisition, a strategy eschewed by his predecessor, David Brennan, who unexpectedly retired this past summer following a string of pipeline problems and enormous cutbacks. “As I assume my new responsibilities at AstraZeneca, I believe this is a prudent step that maintains flexibility while the board and I complete the company’s ongoing annual strategy update,” Soirot said in a brief statement. To date, the drugmaker has completed net share repurchases of $2.3 billion of its initial target of $4.5 billion.