Why GlaxoSmithKline plc and AstraZeneca plc could boost my portfolio

GlaxoSmithKline plc (LON:GSK) (GSK.L) and AstraZeneca plc (LON:AZN) (AZN.L) could have investment appeal in my view


I’m going to take a look at one stock I own, my second biggest ever holding in fact, and its main competitor among UK-listed shares. The company I own is GlaxoSmithKline plc (LON:GSK) (GSK.L), while its main competitor is AstraZeneca plc (LON:AZN) (AZN.L).

At the time of writing, GlaxoSmithKline is trading at 1606.5p after falling 0.71% on Friday 14 July. The fundamentals for this diversified healthcare company are relatively sound in my view. It has a 15.8 PE, which is relatively low for a pharmaceutical company, and a relatively high 4.98% dividend yield.

In fact, a sizeable amount of cash went into my account when the 19p dividend was paid in on 13 July. The added bonus with this share is that the dividend is paid four times a year.

In my opinion, GlaxoSmithKline is an interesting prospect at this price. A few weeks ago, GlaxoSmithKline was trading above 1700p and there seems to be a support level just above 1600p when I look closely at a monthly chart. It’s always good to get some diversity in a portfolio to my mind, and with GlaxoSmithKline’s mix of a drug pipeline and expansion into consumer products it is a share that I would feel comfortable buying now for the long term.

It’s always good to examine the competition of any company, and AstraZeneca is GlaxoSmithKline’s main UK-listed rival. At the time of writing, AstraZeneca is trading at 4980.5p, with a fall of 0.67% on Friday 14 July. The fundamentals are decent in my eyes, with a PE of 15.06 and a dividend yield of 4.4%. AstraZeneca also pays its dividend four times a year, and it pays them in dollars so it’s giving some extra foreign currency exposure for UK investors like me.

At the start of May, AstraZeneca received approval for a new treatment which is expected to generate sales of more than $1 billion per year for the company. Bearing in mind that AstraZeneca traded at over 5550p less than a month ago, I think it could be worth buying at these levels.

About Mark Howitt 121 Articles
Mark Howitt is a long-term buy-and-hold investor who has been buying and selling shares for a number of years. He is particularly interested in the banking, energy and telecoms sectors, but also holds stocks in a variety of other industries.