2 Numbers That Could Make GlaxoSmithKline plc A Spectacular Buy

I gskbelieve things are looking up at GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK) (NYSE: GSK.US).

Here are two key numbers that lead me to think so.

297 million

The business has seen sales in China collapse. And concern about the long-term effect that the corruption case will have on future revenue growth has weighed heavily on GlaxoSmithKline for many months now. 

So news last month that the case had been concluded with a £297m fine came as a massive relief to the company and its investors.

Make no mistake — the matter, which dates back to July last year, has proved a vastly humiliating chapter in the company’s history.

GlaxoSmithKline has been found to have “offered money or property to non-government personnel in order to obtain improper commercial gains,” and the saga has seen a string of executives end up in the dock, including former China head Mark Reilly who was handed a suspended three-year jail sentence and deportation back to the UK.

While the fine can hardly be seen as small change, the penalty has been viewed by many as a let-off given the scale of misconduct — GlaxoSmithKline was said to have been operating a £300m slush fund to provide doctors with ‘incentives’ to prescribe the firm’s drugs.

But most importantly the pharma giant can get back to selling its suite of blue ribbon products in the country. The business saw Chinese sales rattle 25% lower during January-June alone, to £129m, which in turn whacked total emerging market turnover by four percentage points.

Claims of corruption at the company are not going to disappear anytime soon, however, with GlaxoSmithKline still facing an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office as claims of misconduct in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Poland and Jordan remain unresolved. Still, the Brentford-based firm will be immensely relieved that it can get back to business in the white-hot growth marketplace of China.


GlaxoSmithKline has a terrific record of offering above-average dividend yields, with payouts trekking reliably skywards even in times of persistent earnings turbulence.

The firm’s ability to generate shedloads of cash has enabled it to maintain this progressive dividend policy, and free cash flow registered at a meaty £753m during January-June even in spite of adverse currency movements and the impact of divestments.

Against this backcloth, City analysts expect GlaxoSmithKline to raise the dividend from 78p per share last year to 81p in 2014. A further increase, to 83.4p, is predicted for next year.

And as a result, dividend yields for this year and next tally up at a monster 5.9% and 6.1% respectively, obliterating a forward average of 3.6% for the complete FTSE 100.

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Royston Wild has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended GlaxoSmithKline. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.