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Shire (FY earnings 16 February)
Currency movements should provide quite the boon for Shire, with sterling weakness doing much to flatter the bottom line, at least on an adjusted basis. However, integration from recent acquisitions will inevitably increase costs, although revenue growth of 7% is still expected.
The new drug Xildra, used to treat dry eye disease, has had a relatively successful launch, which is expected to result in a confident outlook for the year. Also worth watching out for will be the integration of the Baxalta business, having exceeded expected synergies of $600 million in its first year. Pharma firms have the new administration in the US to worry about, with possible ramifications from potential changes to healthcare provision being a key concern.
Having rallied off the February lows, the shares topped out near £54, and have seen a steady sequence of lower highs and lower lows since September. Big support has been found around £43, while the recent bounce off this level has carried the price back to the 200-day simple moving average (SMA) at £46.73, with the January peak at £49.36 the next area to watch.