Breakingviews

Covid boost offers GSK’s Walmsley Elliott relief

2 minute read

The GlaxoSmithKline logo is seen in Singapore, March 21, 2018. REUTERS/Loriene Perera

Register now for FREE unlimited access to reuters.com

LONDON, July 28 (Reuters Breakingviews) - GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK.L) Emma Walmsley is getting a little help in her battle with Elliott Advisors from Covid-19. Earlier this month the activist demanded that the UK-based group’s chief executive reapply for her job, saying she lacks the experience to run a large drugmaker. Yet GSK’s results on Wednesday showed sales rebounding quickly from last year, beating analyst forecasts by 7%.

The Covid-19 lift is unexpected. After all, GSK has so far failed to produce an effective vaccine on its own. But it made 258 million pounds in the three months ending June by offering its adjuvant technology, which makes vaccines more effective, to other groups. Those sales, along with a new antibody called sotrovimab, could boost GSK earnings per share by as much as 6% this year, it reckons. Compare that with peer AstraZeneca (AZN.L), which was quick to roll out a vaccine but has since been embroiled in a legal spat with the European Union. How long GSK’s Covid-19 boost lasts isn’t clear. But for someone in Walmsley’s position, any good news is welcome. (By Aimee Donnellan)

On Twitter http://twitter.com/breakingviews

Register now for FREE unlimited access to reuters.com

Capital Calls - More concise insights on global finance:

Man Group looks cheap read more

BHP falls into cash-burning Ring of Fire read more

Dueling grill makers serve their IPOs rare read more

Singapore’s GIC looks for lab rat liquidity read more

Just Eat Takeaway’s activist has a full plate read more

Register now for FREE unlimited access to reuters.com
Editing by Neil Unmack and Oliver Taslic

Breakingviews
Reuters Breakingviews is the world's leading source of agenda-setting financial insight. As the Reuters brand for financial commentary, we dissect the big business and economic stories as they break around the world every day. A global team of about 30 correspondents in New York, London, Hong Kong and other major cities provides expert analysis in real time.

Sign up for a free trial of our full service at https://www.breakingviews.com/trial and follow us on Twitter @Breakingviews and at www.breakingviews.com. All opinions expressed are those of the authors.

More from Reuters