STOCK MARKET WATCH: Glaxo’s billions burn a hole in its pocket | Bovis results | World High Life
Emma Walmsley has had a busy year at GlaxoSmithKline with a deal spree that has included merging its consumer healthcare business with Pfizer’s.
The plan is to split off the business within three years – potentially through a separate stock market float – to free up cash to invest in its pharmaceuticals arm.
How exactly it will spend the money is unclear, but analysts at Citi reckon it could embark on a deals spree with the spare cash as it did when it bought cancer drug development firm Tesaro for £4 billion.
Panadol is among Glaxo’s products: A spending spree could bring in more
More of that could be on the cards by the sound of it.
Citi’s scribblers reckon Walmsley, who took over as chief executive in April 2017, will have between £17 billion and £25 billion to spend on more takeovers to bolster its drugs business if they list the joint venture with Pfizer.
They say that will help the company rejuvenate its drug arm, which is facing patents expiring in its HIV business.
Investment bankers must be licking their lips at the prospect of billions of dollars to spend on acquisitions, but they’ll have to wait a couple of years yet.
Bovis in line for strong results
There have been some jitters around the foundations of the housebuilding sector amid slowing sales and softening prices.
But Bovis Homes should reassure investors on Tuesday when it reports its results for the first half.
The company has confirmed it completed 1,647 homes in the first six months of 2019 and UBS’s analysts think this puts it in line for a strong performance.
They predict revenues will rise 7 per cent to £445 million, while improving margins will help pre-tax profits jump to £70 million from £60 million last year. Any update on current trading will be closely watched.
Ebullient Brexiteer Tim Martin has slashed the price of a pint of Ruddles at his Wetherspoons pubs by 20p in a bid to show how Brexit will cut costs.
‘Spoons’ shares are close to an all-time high so Martin can afford some giveaways, but investors might not want him to be too generous.
He has sacrificed margins by not raising prices in an effort to keep sales high.
Margins came under pressure in the first half of the year and Friday’s annual results will show whether that has continued.
If sales start to show signs of slowing, his price-cutting might seem a little premature whether Brexit happens or not.
World High Life joins the cannabis rush
The latest company to join the cannabis IPO rush in the UK is World High Life, which is set to enter the challenger NEX Exchange on Thursday.
The company has raised £2.4 million to spend on an acquisition (it is currently just a shell company) and it hopes to take advantage of the growing demand for medicinal cannabis.
Chairman and chief executive David Stadnyk has already had success in Canada – where the fever surrounding cannabis stocks originated – and hopes to replicate it on these shores.
Stadnyk tells me he is eyeing up a listing on the London Stock Exchange if all goes to plan.