GlaxoSmithKline’s full-year results another test for embattled boss Emma Walmsley as she continues to fend off attacks from activist investor Elliott
- Investors will be keenly eyeing the firm’s outlook in next week’s results
GlaxoSmithKline’s full-year results on Wednesday will be another test for embattled chief executive Emma Walmsley as she continues to fend off attacks from activist investor Elliott Management.
The company has been under increasing pressure over the planned de-merger of its consumer healthcare business, although an aborted £50billion swoop on the division by Unilever last month has helped push GSK’s shares to their highest levels in nearly two years.
The share price rise may have brought Walmsley some breathing space to pursue her strategy. However, the stock is still below pre-pandemic levels which is unlikely to appease Elliott or other shareholders.
Meanwhile, investors will be keenly eyeing the firm’s outlook in next week’s results.
GSK upgraded its full-year guidance in October. But it is still forecasting a year-on-year decline in earnings. Investors will be hoping this has been narrowed further or potentially turned positive. Sales for 2021 are also expected to be around £34billion, about flat year-on-year, so any alterations will be closely watched.
Also in focus will be the total dividend for the year, which GSK has previously targeted at 80p per share.
Meanwhile, GSK’s medicine and vaccine pipeline will continue to attract investor attention with around 63 products in development.
Key areas in focus will likely be infectious diseases, HIV and cancer drugs, particularly any updates on progress from ongoing clinical trials.