GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK) Lifted to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of GlaxoSmithKline PLC (NYSE:GSK) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Wednesday. Zacks Investment Research currently has $46.00 price target on the pharmaceutical company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Glaxo enjoys a diversified base and presence in different geographical areas. Glaxo should continue to see strong performance in its Pharmaceuticals and Vaccines business units. We are positive on the company’s efforts to develop its pipeline. We think Glaxo possesses one of the stronger late-stage pipelines in large-cap pharma. Performance of new products as well as of those acquired from Novartis has been encouraging. Glaxo’s shares have outperformed the broader industry in the past one month. However, persistent challenges like stiff competition, genericization and pricing pressure along with slowing growth in emerging markets have been impacting the company’s performance. The slowdown in sales of the Consumer Healthcare segment this year is also a concern. Estimates have remained stable of Glaxo’s Q3 earnings release. The company recorded a string of positive earnings surprises in recent quarters.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also issued reports on the stock. Morgan Stanley lowered shares of GlaxoSmithKline PLC from an equal weight rating to an underweight rating in a research note on Friday, September 8th. Argus restated a buy rating and issued a $50.00 target price on shares of GlaxoSmithKline PLC in a research note on Thursday, August 31st. BidaskClub upgraded shares of GlaxoSmithKline PLC from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a research note on Friday, August 25th. J P Morgan Chase & Co restated a neutral rating on shares of GlaxoSmithKline PLC in a research note on Thursday, July 13th. Finally, Citigroup Inc. restated a neutral rating on shares of GlaxoSmithKline PLC in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company. GlaxoSmithKline PLC has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $44.33.

GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK) traded down 0.63% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $40.84. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 8,971,913 shares. The stock has a market capitalization of $99.81 billion, a P/E ratio of 39.57 and a beta of 1.03. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $40.51 and its 200 day moving average price is $41.53. GlaxoSmithKline PLC has a 1-year low of $37.20 and a 1-year high of $44.54.

GlaxoSmithKline PLC (NYSE:GSK) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The pharmaceutical company reported $0.70 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.68 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $9.36 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $9.52 billion. GlaxoSmithKline PLC had a net margin of 6.48% and a return on equity of 114.93%. Analysts expect that GlaxoSmithKline PLC will post $2.87 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, October 12th. Investors of record on Friday, August 11th were paid a dividend of $0.491 per share. This is a positive change from GlaxoSmithKline PLC’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.46. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 9th. This represents a $1.96 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.81%. GlaxoSmithKline PLC’s dividend payout ratio is 198.00%.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. FMR LLC raised its stake in GlaxoSmithKline PLC by 5.9% during the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 25,024,276 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock worth $1,079,047,000 after acquiring an additional 1,389,238 shares during the period. Fisher Asset Management LLC raised its stake in GlaxoSmithKline PLC by 2.3% during the third quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC now owns 12,828,251 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock worth $520,827,000 after acquiring an additional 293,866 shares during the period. Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its stake in GlaxoSmithKline PLC by 112.1% during the second quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 9,338,000 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock worth $402,655,000 after acquiring an additional 4,935,900 shares during the period. Hotchkis & Wiley Capital Management LLC raised its stake in GlaxoSmithKline PLC by 4.3% during the second quarter. Hotchkis & Wiley Capital Management LLC now owns 7,847,327 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock worth $338,377,000 after acquiring an additional 322,700 shares during the period. Finally, Bank of America Corp DE increased its stake in shares of GlaxoSmithKline PLC by 15.8% in the first quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 6,849,632 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $288,780,000 after purchasing an additional 934,928 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 9.28% of the company’s stock.

About GlaxoSmithKline PLC

GlaxoSmithKline plc is a global healthcare company. The Company operates through three segments: Pharmaceuticals, Vaccines and Consumer Healthcare. The Company focuses on its research across six areas: Respiratory diseases, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/infectious diseases, Vaccines, Immuno-inflammation, Oncology and Rare diseases.

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