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LONDON -- This morning, pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK.L ) was the fourth-most popular purchase by stockbroker TD Direct Investing's individual clients between the market's opening and noon.
Why? A 2% drop in the share price gives a clue: Institutional investors have been selling, it turns out. Consequently, private buyers have been stepping in this morning to grab a piece of this high-yielding drugs-to-toothpaste global business that handily pays its dividends quarterly, and which is presently offering a prospective yield of 5.2% on a forecast P/E of 12.
And the reason for the institutional sell-off? A downgrade by Morgan Stanley, it seems, which expressed a preference for AstraZeneca, citing concerns over margins.
The fifth- and sixth-most popular picks this morning by the private clients of the stockbroker are two companies bracketed together in a merger play -- respectively, Xstrata (LSE: XTA.L ) and Glencore (LSE: GLEN.L ) .
The reason? There's been overnight news regarding the proposed terms of the deal, which has been stalled by sovereign wealth fund Qatar Holding, 12% owner of Xstrata. A Glencore shareholders' meeting to discuss the deal has been canceled, and the offered price for each Xstrata share has been raised from 2.8 Glencore shares to 3.05 shares.
Sensing a bargain, private investors have piled in. Will they be disappointed? Time will tell.
Finally, what are super-investors Neil Woodford and Warren Buffett buying today? We can't tell you that, but we can tell you the names of the shares that they've been buying in the recent past -- and why they've been buying them.
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