Sector: Health care
Analyst: Casper Runge Albæk Tel. +45 89223700
E-mail: [email protected]
GlaxoSmithKline takes an optimistic view of 2005
GlaxoSmithKline released its 2004 accounts – a year that was quite
demanding. We took special note of the following:
accounts for 2004
• sales and earnings were a shade below consensus;
• the margins came under pressure due to rising costs;
• expectations of 2005 are better than expected.
In general, the accounts do not prompt us to change our recommendation of GlaxoSmithKline. On this background, we reiterate our BUY
Sales and earnings a tad
In 2004 GlaxoSmithKline generated sales of GBP 20.4bn, whereas sales of below consensus
GBP 20.5bn had been expected. This resulted in EPS of 75 pence, which
was 0.5 pence below the consensus estimate.
Sales – a mixed bag
The slightly sluggish sales in 2004 cannot be attributed to one single
product, but cover a string of minor disappointments. It is, however, worth
mentioning that sales of the diabetes drug Avandia/Avandamet, the cancer drug Zofran and the antidepressant Seroxat/Paxil were below
expectations. The good news was, however, that the respiratory products, particularly Seretide/Advair, sold better than expected. It should be noted
that this development took place despite the introduction of the
mandatory discount in Germany and the inventory reductions in Italy. Thus Seretide/Advair is still an important factor in GlaxoSmithKline’s
growth efforts. Incidentally, the company expects that sales will benefit further from the publication next month of the CONCEPT studies that
compare Seretide with AstraZeneca’s Symbicort.
Margin under pressure
Even though increasing production and R&D costs had been expected,
these items in the accounts nevertheless offered negative surprises, which resulted in the somewhat disappointing EPS.
Positive expectations of
One of the most positive aspects of the annual accounts was the company’s
EPS growth forecast for 2005. GlaxoSmithKline expects high single-digit
growth, which is presumably above the consensus estimate of growth just below 7%.
We maintain our positive
The accounts do not prompt us to change our BUY recommendation of view of the share
GlaxoSmithKline. The company has come through a most demanding 2004
and now it embarking upon a period when we expect new product launches and applications for approval of products will have a favourable
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