Five Stocks Under Spotlight: AZN, GSK, RIO, JUP, PSON

AstraZeneca PLC

AstraZeneca PLC (AZN) is engaged in the development and marketing of medicines which are sold on prescription. It is having its footprint in more than 100 countries. The company focuses on areas such as oncology, neuroscience, cardiovascular, renal & metabolism, infection & other vaccines.

Recent developments

FDA has approved the use of the supplemental New Drug Application (NDA) Farixga for patients suffering with type-1 diabetes.

Financial highlights for H1 FY19

The company’s product sales revenue stood at $11,183 million in H1 FY19. The gross margin of the company was recorded at 80 per cent in first half of FY19. The operating expenses of the company were recorded at $8,238 million in first half of FY19. The EPS of the company was recorded at $0.56 in first half of FY19. The company’s first interim dividend stood at $0.90 per share in first half of FY19.

AZN Share Price performance

Chart as on 02-August-19, before the market close (Source: Thomson Reuters)

While writing (as on 2nd August 2019, at 01:21 PM GMT), AstraZeneca PLC shares were trading at GBX 7,245 per share; up by 0.62 per cent as compared to the previous day closing price level. The company’s M-cap stood at £94.65 billion.

In the 52-week time interval, AstraZeneca PLC shares have recorded a high of GBX 7,266.00 (as on 02 August 2019) and a low of GBX 5,312.00 (as on 28 January 2019). The company’s stock beta was 0.93, which indicates similar performance as of the benchmark index.

AstraZeneca PLC shares have delivered a positive return of 24.01 per cent in the last 1 year. Also, on a YTD (Year-to-Date) time interval, the stock was up by approximately 22.59 per cent and surged by 27.57 per cent in the previous three months.

 

 

GlaxoSmithKline Plc

GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK) is a healthcare company, which focuses on the manufacturing, commercialisation, and development of pharmaceuticals vaccines and consumer healthcare products. It offers drugs for the treatment of cancer, HIV, anti-viral, metabolic, anti-bacterial, rare diseases, cardiovascular and urogenital, immuno-inflammation, respiratory, central nervous system (CNS), and dermatology. The company offers over the counter (OTC) products for pain, relief, nutrition, skin health, oral health, and gastrointestinal disorders.

Recent developments

The European Commission has approved new methods of marketing and administering Mepolizumab (Nucala), a pre-filled syringe and pen that can be taken by people at home who are suffering from severe eosinophilic asthma, provided it is directed by a healthcare professional. According to a study, 96 per cent prefer self-treatment at home in comparison to being treated at clinic.

The company has entered into a Joint Venture with Pfizer in the consumer healthcare segment. This transaction translated into an equity interest of 32 per cent for Pfizer and the remaining 68 per cent of controlling equity interest for GlaxoSmithKline.

Financial Highlights for Q2 FY19

The company’s revenue surged by 5 per cent on CER (constant exchange rate) basis to £7,809 million in Q2 FY19 due to vaccines and consumer healthcare good performance. The company’s operating margin was recorded at 19 per cent in Q2 FY19. The company’s operating profit stood at £1,484 million in Q2 FY19 as against £779 million in Q2 FY18. The company’s EPS was 19.5 pence per share in Q2 FY19 as against 9 pence per share in Q2 FY18. The company’s cash from operating activities stood at £1,389 million in Q2 FY19 as against £1,362 million in Q2 FY18. The company’s free cash flow plunged to £370 million in Q2 FY19 due to rise in Capex and intangible assets as against £492 million in Q2 FY18. The company is optimistic on maintaining dividend of 80 pence per share for FY19, the company declared dividend of 19 pence per share for Q2 FY19. 

 

GSK Share Price performance

Chart as on 02-August-19, before the market close (Source: Thomson Reuters)

While writing (as on 2nd August 2019, at 01:45 PM GMT), GSK shares were trading at GBX 1,705.2 per share; down by 0.3 per cent as compared to the previous day closing price level. The company’s M-cap stood at £85.50 billion.

In the 52-week time interval, GSK shares have recorded a high of GBX 1,749.40 (as on 30 July 2019) and a low of GBX 1,408.80 (as on 06 December 2018). The company’s stock beta was 1.01, which indicates slightly higher volatility in comparison to the benchmark index.

GSK shares have delivered a positive return of 8.78 per cent in the last 1 year. Also, on a YTD (Year-to-Date) time interval, the stock was up by approximately 14.70 per cent and surged by 9.66 per cent in the previous three months.

 

Rio Tinto PLC

Rio Tinto Plc (RIO) is a leading mining and metal company listed on the London Stock Exchange. Its area of operations is categorised into three segments: finding, mining, and processing mineral resources. As per the company website, Rio employs around 47,000 workforces and operates in 35 countries across six continents.

Financial Highlights for H1 FY19

The company’s revenue (consolidated) stood at $20.7 billion in H1 FY19, which was 9 per cent more than H1 FY18. The company’s EBITDA (underlying) stood at $10.3 billion in H1 FY19, which was 19 per cent more than H1 FY18. The free cash flow of the company stood at $3.9 billion in H1 FY19, which was 35 per cent more than H1 FY18. The company has announced $3.5 billion worth of returns to shareholders which includes an interim dividend ($2.5 billion) and special dividends ($1.0 billion) in H1 FY19.

 

RIO Share price performance

Chart as on 02-August-19, before the market close (Source: Thomson Reuters)

While writing (as on 2nd  August 2019, at 01:57 PM GMT), RIO shares were trading at GBX 4,404.5 per share; down by 2.97 per cent as compared to the previous day closing price level. The company’s M-cap stood at £76.95 billion.

In the 52-week time interval, RIO shares have recorded a high of GBX 5,039.00 (as on 03 July 2019) and a low of GBX 3,318.17 (as on 11 September 2018). The company’s stock beta was 1.38, which indicates 38 per cent more volatility than the benchmark index.

RIO shares have delivered a positive return of 11.98 per cent in the last 1 year. Also, on a YTD (Year-to-Date) time interval, the stock was up by approximately 21.70 per cent and surged by 2.28 per cent in the previous three months.

 

Jupiter Fund Management PLC

Jupiter Fund Management Plc (JUP) is a financial service provider that offers management of medium- and long-term investments. The company provides management of equity investments for retail, institutional and private client investors.

Financial highlights for H1 FY19

The company’s net revenue stood at £190.8 million (down by 11 per cent) in H1 FY19 as against £214.8 million in H1 FY18, due to lesser number of assets under management and reduction in fees. The company’s PBT plunged by 16 per cent to £81.4 million in H1 FY19 as against £96.5 million in H1 FY18 due to lesser revenues from lower AUM.  The company’s EPS stood at 15.1 pence per share in H1 FY19 as against 17.3 pence in H1 FY18. The dividend stood at 7.9 pence per share in H1 FY19, which was same as in H1 FY18.

 

JUP Share price performance

Chart as on 02-August-19, before the market close (Source: Thomson Reuters)

While writing (as on 2nd August 2019, at 02:00 PM GMT), JUP shares were trading at GBX 357.6 per share; down by 1.81 per cent as compared to the previous day closing price level. The company’s M-cap stood at £1.67 billion.

In the 52-week time interval, JUP shares have recorded a high of GBX 435.00 (as on 01 July 2019) and a low of GBX 265.54 (as on 12 December 2018). The company’s stock beta was 1.35, which indicates 35 per cent more volatility than the benchmark index.

JUP shares have delivered a negative return of 12.74 per cent in the last 1 year. However, on a YTD (Year-to-Date) time interval, the stock was up by approximately 27.35 per cent.

 

Pearson Plc

Pearson PLC (PSON) is a British learning company, headquartered in London, United Kingdom. The group serves private and public institutions, governments, and individual learners in various countries to provide them with education products and services like test development, processing, and scoring services and a wide range of other education services.

Financial Highlights for H1 FY19

On an underlying basis, the group recorded growth in its all three segments, with total revenue during the period under review registering a growth of 2%. However, on a headline basis, sales declined by 2% mainly on account of the sale of non-core businesses. Adjusted operating profit on an underlying basis grew by 30% on a YoY basis. On account of decent growth reported by the group at the operating level, adjusted earnings per share recorded an increase of 60.9% on a YoY basis and stood at 13.2 pence per share. During the period under consideration, the board of the company approved an interim dividend of 6.0pence/share and recorded a growth of 9.09% on a YoY basis.

 

PSON Share price performance

Chart as on 02-August-19, before the market close (Source: Thomson Reuters)

While writing (as on 2nd August 2019, at 02:02 PM GMT), PSON shares were trading at GBX 833.2 per share; down by 1.9 per cent as compared to the previous day closing price level. The company’s M-cap stood at £6.65 billion.

In the 52-week time interval, PSON shares have recorded a high of GBX 1,030.00 (as on 11 Jan 2019) and a low of GBX 764.00 (as on 05 Jun 2019). The company’s stock beta was 0.36, which indicates lesser volatility as compared to the benchmark index.

PSON shares have delivered a negative return of 5.89 per cent in the last 1 year. Also, on a YTD (Year-to-Date) time interval, the stock was down by approximately 9.48 per cent and surged by 4.55 per cent in the previous three months.

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