GSK shares unsteady as activist investor drops vaccine business sale

Although the GSK share price has underperformed against its close competitors in the past year, signs are starting to improve following positive moves from an activist investor and the release of highly anticipated new products.

  • GSK shares down 2% year to date
  • Shares reached £13.48 this morning but slumped afterwards
  • GSK retains operations in the UK and not sell off vaccine operations
  • Ready to trade the GSK share price? Open an account today

What is going on with GSK shares right now?

GlaxoSmithKline shares saw a brief rally after the price dropped as markets opened in London on 27 May. This was following news that the US activist investment firm Elliott Management, which recently acquired a significant stake in GSK will not be forcing the company to sell off its vaccine and pharma departments. However, the share price slumped shortly after, indicating that the beleaguered pharma giant is not out of the woods yet.

Speculation had been rife that the US company would also slash GSK's R&D budget and divide it up into UK-based and overseas operations. However, Elliott Management said all such plans would be scrapped following discussions with the GSK leadership and the UK Government, which reportedly sees GSK as a 'national champion'.

The GSK share price rose to a peak of £13.48 after markets opened, before trending downwards in the morning. Markets may consider this a sign that Elliott has faith in the £68 billion company to produce better returns for shareholders in the future, following the success of recently-announced Covid-19 treatments produced by GlaxoSmithKline. Nonetheless, issues related to its under-performance this past year remain outstanding.

Does the longer-term future look positive for the GSK share price?

GSK's reprieve has also come as a relief to figures in government who strongly wished to see a strong GSK remain in the UK. This does not indicate how the GSK share price will perform in the longer term, though. GSK has consistently underperformed the FTSE this year, with shares falling 18% over the past 12 months, while the FTSE has grown 16% in that time.

Meanwhile, competitors such as AstraZeneca have seen notable growth in their share price, partly due to its success with its Covid-19 vaccine. However, signs are on the horizon that GSK might be catching up.

On Wednesday, the US FDA approved for nationwide use of GSK's new Covid-19 antibody drug, in a move that could represent billions of pounds in revenue for the company. GSK also is set to begin the phase III trial of its very own Covid-19 vaccine, something that may benefit GSK share price if things go well.

H2: Trade GSK stocks today

Take your position on UK shares for just a small initial deposit with CFDs.

Open an account to start trading or investing in UK shares.

IGA, may distribute information/research produced by its respective foreign affiliates within the IG Group of companies pursuant to an arrangement under Regulation 32C of the Financial Advisers Regulations. Where the research is distributed in Singapore to a person who is not an Accredited Investor, Expert Investor or an Institutional Investor, IGA accepts legal responsibility for the contents of the report to such persons only to the extent required by law. Singapore recipients should contact IGA at 6390 5118 for matters arising from, or in connection with the information distributed.

The information/research herein is prepared by IG Asia Pte Ltd (IGA) and its foreign affiliated companies (collectively known as the IG Group) and is intended for general circulation only. It does not take into account the specific investment objectives, financial situation, or particular needs of any particular person. You should take into account your specific investment objectives, financial situation, and particular needs before making a commitment to trade, including seeking advice from an independent financial adviser regarding the suitability of the investment, under a separate engagement, as you deem fit.

Please see important Research Disclaimer.

Seize a share opportunity today

Go long or short on thousands of international stocks.

  • Increase your market exposure with leverage
  • Get spreads from just 0.1% on major global shares
  • Trade CFDs straight into order books with direct market access

Live prices on most popular markets

  • Forex
  • Shares
  • Indices

Prices above are subject to our website terms and agreements. Prices are indicative only. All shares prices are delayed by at least 15 mins.


Prices above are subject to our website terms and agreements. Prices are indicative only. All shares prices are delayed by at least 20 mins.

The Momentum Report

Get the week’s momentum report sent directly to your inbox every Monday for FREE. The Week Ahead gives you a full calendar of upcoming key events to monitor in the coming week, as well as commentary and insight from our expert analysts on the major indices to watch.

For more info on how we might use your data, see our privacy notice and access policy and privacy webpage.

You might be interested in…

Find out what charges your trades could incur with our transparent fee structure.

Discover why so many clients choose us, and what makes us a world-leading provider of CFDs.

Stay on top of upcoming market-moving events with our customisable economic calendar.