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GSK share price steady as pharmco posts sales growth

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Shares in GlaxoSmithKline (LON:GSK) have advanced in today’s session, as the blue-chip pharmco updated investors on its fourth-quarter performance, posting a rise in sales and adjusted earnings for 2017. The blue-chip drugmaker, however, is cautious on its earnings going forward, due to possible competition from cheaper generics to its flagship respiratory treatment Advair.

As of 13:17 GMT, GSK’s share price had added one percent to stand at 1,255.20p. The advance is in line with gains in the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently 0.98 percent better off at 7,211.70 points.

GSK posts Q4 results

GSK announced in a statement today that its turnover had climbed eight percent to £30.2 billion in 2017, with the company seeing growth across all three businesses. The group’s total earnings per share meanwhile came at 31.4p, following accounting charges of £1.6 billion related to US tax reform. The pharmco’s adjusted EPS, however, rose 11 percent to 111.8p. GSK declared a 23p per share dividend for the last quarter, taking its total payout for the year to 80p.

“In 2017 GSK delivered encouraging results from across the company with sales growth in each of our three global businesses,” GSK’s chief executive Emma Walmsley, who took the helm at the company last year, commented in the statement, adding that the drugmaker was strengthening its “pipeline with a focus on priority assets in two current therapy areas, Respiratory and HIV, and two potential areas, Oncology and Immuno-inflammation”.

Pharmco cautious on outlook

GSK meanwhile was again cautious on its guidance, noting that its expectations for adjusted earnings per share in the current year were impacted by uncertainties relating to the timing and extent of potential generic competition to Advair in the US.

The pharmco sees earnings flat to down three percent this year, if generic copies of its Advair inhaler hit the US market by mid-year. Without generics, earnings are expected to grow between four and seven percent.

As of 14:07 GMT, Wednesday, 07 February, GlaxoSmithKline plc share price is 1,251.50p.

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