Why GlaxoSmithKline Is Up 24% During the Last 12 Months

LONDON -- GlaxoSmithKline  (LSE: GSK  ) (NYSE: GSK  ) has advanced 24% to 1,684 pence during the last 12 months, making the share one of the best performers in the FTSE 100.

The pharmaceutical giant, which sells more than 30 vaccines worldwide and owns nutritional and dental health brands such as Horlicks and Sensodyne, seems to have impressed investors with a series of encouraging statements.

During July last year, Glaxo issued half-year results that revealed underlying sales down 2% and profits down 3%. The company claimed a challenging global economy and generic competition within Europe and the United States had offset progress within Latin America and the Far East. However, the first-half dividend was lifted 6%.

During February, Glaxo announced results for 2012 that showed core profits slip 5% to 7.4 billion pounds and total earnings per share down 11% to 92.9 pence. However, the group raised its annual dividend by 6% to 74 pence per share and claimed 2013 could show sales up 1% and earnings up 3%.

Then during April, Glaxo's first-quarter statement revealed turnover down 2% to 6.5 billion pounds. However, the results also showed that, after completing a strategic review, the group would pursue the sale of its Lucozade and Ribena brands due to the "tremendous growth potential" that could be "better leveraged" by other companies in the drinks sector.

Sir Andrew Witty, Glaxo's chief executive, said at the time:

This quarter marks continued strategic delivery for GSK with sales and earnings in line with our expectations, significant pipeline progress and further growth in our returns to shareholders through a 6% increase in the dividend. We are also announcing additional measures to improve the Group's focus and long term growth profile.

He also referred to the group's 2013 plan to create a new portfolio of pharmaceutical products that is expected to include more than 50 brands with total annual sales of around 3 billion pounds.

GlaxoSmithKline's second-quarter update will be published on July 24, which may reveal further positive news that can impress investors.

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