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Stock of the week: GlaxoSmithKline

Written by:
Graham Spooner, investment research analyst at The Share Centre, picks pharmaceutical research company GlaxoSmithKline as stock of the week.

Research based pharmaceutical company, GlaxoSmithKline, has announced that it has submitted to the US Food and Drug Administration approval for a new vaccine for the prevention of the viral disease, shingles.

Interested investors will appreciate that the company said regulatory submissions for the vaccine in the European Union and Canada are on track for 2016 and planned for Japan in 2017. If successful, the vaccine, named Shingrix, could generate more than £638m in annual sales for the British company.

The defensive nature of the sector and the stock, and the competitive yields paid to investors make this a core holding for many portfolios. The hope for future improvement should be helped by new products, diversification (consumer healthcare, biotechnology) and increasing exposure to emerging markets.

In recent years, the large pharmaceutical companies have suffered because of increased levels of generic competition following patent expirations. GlaxoSmithKline is affected, but less prone to these problems than some of its peers.

However, one of the key attractions of the firm over other large pharmaceuticals is the promising frequency of research and development of new drugs. The shares moved higher post Brexit as investors sort safe havens with overseas earnings. Their research and development pipeline gives The Share Centre confidence for the medium to longer term. It therefore maintains its ‘buy’ recommendation for those seeking income and seeking a lower level of risk.

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