GSK buyback eyed after Quest sale
Thursday 03 February 2011
GlaxoSmithKline stoked hopes that it might restart its share buyback programme last night after announcing the sale of its stake in Quest Diagnostics in a $1.7bn (£802m) deal.
The pharmaceutical group's chief executive, Andrew Witty, raised the prospect of a buyback in December, when he said the time to resume a repurchase scheme was getting closes. But hopes faded after GSK, which is due to issue full-year results today, unveiled a record £2.2bn legal for the fourth quarter of 2010.
News of the Quest sale suggests that a programme may be back on the agenda, according to analysts. "The proceeds... should now allow the company to restart its repurchase programme," Mr Jefferies said.
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