Home How to Buy GlaxoSmithKline Shares UK – Invest in GSK with 0% Commission
Kane Pepi
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GlaxoSmithKline, often abbreviated to GSK, is a UK-based, global pharmaceutical company. The firm is a FTSE 100 constituent with a market capitalization of over £71 billion. As such, buying GlaxoSmithKline shares online in the UK is a process that can be completed with ease.

In this guide, we show you how to buy GlaxoSmithKline shares online in a 100% commission-free manner. We’ll discuss which brokers you can do this with, look at the company’s past performance and also provide some background information on where GlaxoSmithKline stocks might be headed in, including how the covid pandemic has impacted GlaxoSmithKline.

Step 1: Find a UK Stock Broker to Buy GlaxoSmithKline Shares

buy glaxosmithkline shares

As GlaxoSmithKline is one of the largest companies in the United Kingdom – it makes sense that there are hundreds of stock brokers that allow you to buy its shares. In turn, this allows you to find a broker that offers low fees, great customer service, and support for your preferred payment method.

To save you countless hours of research, below we list two of the best UK platforms that allow you to trade or buy GlaxoSmithKline plc shares.

Step 2: Research GlaxoSmithKline Shares

GlaxoSmithKline plc is a strong and stable UK company that carries a stock market capitalization well in excess of £71 billion. However, this isn’t to say that the stock is necessarily right for your long-term investing goals or your volatility preferences. This is why you need to spend some time researching before taking the plunge before making an investment decision, whether you’re investing in GSK shares or other pharmaceutical and healthcare companies like Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Inovio, Viiv Healthcare, Eli Lilly or Sanofi.

In the sections below, we’ll explain what GSK does, how its shares have faired-up in recent years, and crucially – where its stocks might be headed in the immediate future.

What is GlaxoSmithKline plc?

GlaxoSmithKline (ticker GSK, ISIN: GB0009252882) is a global pharmaceutical company with its headquarters in the UK. The firm as we know it today was formed in 2000 after SmithKline Beecham and Glaxo Wellcome completed a multi-billion pound merged. Since then, GSK has grown to become one of the largest FTSE stocks – with a current market cap of over £71 billion.

In terms of its core research focus – GlaxoSmithKline has divisions in just about everything. This includes diabetes, cancer, asthma, HIV, and infections. Some of its best-known consumer healthcare products include mupirocin, ceftazidime, and amoxicillin-clavulanate. GlaxoSmithKline plc is – among dozens of other pharmaceutical healthcare companies, also working on a vaccine for coronavirus.

GlaxoSmithKline Share Price History

Long-term investors in GSK haven’t been overly rewarded since the firm was formed in 2000. Back then, you would have paid in the region of 1,800p per share. And today? GlaxoSmithKline shares are priced at 1,425p. As such, the shares are actually worth less than they were two decades ago.

With that said, we are more interested in where the shares are headed in the future – so it’s best to focus on how the firm has performed in recent times. In terms of its 52-week highs, GlaxoSmithKline hit highs of 1,857p in February February. Like the rest of the FTSE 100 and LSE stocks, the shares were dragged down in the proceeding weeks as part of a much broader market sell-off.

glaxosmithkline share price history

In turn, the stocks hit lows of 1,328p. A recovery was then in the making with GlaxoSmithKline shares reaching 1,742p in May. However, the shares have since been moving in the wrong direction. In fact, as of October 2020, the shares are looking at YTD losses of around 13%.

With this in mind, there is an element of concern held by long-term GlaxoSmithKline stockholders – especially when you look at the performance of some of its stock market peers. For example, fellow FTSE 100 pharmaceutical powerhouse AstraZeneca (AZN), listed on NASDAQ, started the year at 7,666p and is now priced at 8,190p. This represents YTD growth of just under 7%.

Sure, this is nothing to write home about – but it illustrates that other players in the UK pharmaceutical and biotechnology space are growing, while GSK is moving in the opposite direction.

GlaxoSmithKline EPS & P/E Ratio

The EPS for GlaxoSmithKline is 93.90p, with an EPS growth of 4% at the time of writing. The p/e ratio is 14.4.

GlaxoSmithKline Shares Dividend Information

Investors will often add several large-cap pharmaceutical stocks to their portfolio as they typically have a long-standing history of paying consistent dividends. In the case of GlaxoSmithKline, the firm has not missed a dividend payment since declarations began in 2006. In its most recent distribution, this stood at 19p per share. Like most dividend stocks on FTSE 100 – GlaxoSmithKline plc distributes a payment on a quarterly basis.

Should I Buy GlaxoSmithKline Shares?

GlaxoSmithKline shares are down roughly 13% for the year. This could represent a discounted shareholding opportunity, or at the other end of the spectrum – show signs that the downward trajectory is likely to continue. As such, you need to look at some of the key factors surrounding the firm before making an investment.

Let’s start with the financials.

Q2 2020 Earnings Report

The most reliable way of assessing what the future holds for a stock is to look at its most recent earnings report – and how the figures compare to market expectations. In the case of GlaxoSmithKline, its Q2 2020 results left investors somewhat disappointed. Firstly, sales dropped to £7.2 billion for the quarter – representing a decline of 3% in comparison to the previous year.

Vaccine-related revenues also took a hit – with a 29% decline. Earnings per share on GlaxoSmithKline subsequently dropped to 19.2p – a decline of 38%. On the other hand, free cash flows now stand at just under £2 billion – up significantly from the £370 million seen in 2019. Additionally, net debt levels dropped from £25.2 billion at the start of 2020 to £23.4 in Q2.

GlaxoSmithKline EPS & P/E Ratio

GlaxoSmithKline EPS for the quarter ending June 30, 2020 was $1.12, a 125.2% increase year-over-year, while the EPS for the twelve months ending June 30, 2020 was $3.35, a 43.98% increase year-over-year. At the time of writing, the GlaxoSmithKline p/e ration is 12.03.

Not so Defence

On top of their consistent dividend policies, investors will often flock to large pharmaceutical stocks as they have ‘defence’ characteristics. In simple terms, this means that their products are demanded no matter how good or bad the economy is performing – meaning that they are a great safeguard against market uncertainties.

However, in the case of GSK, the shares are actually 13% down YTD. As we noted above, other pharmaceutical stocks in the space – such as AstraZeneca, as up for the year. As such, it remains to be seen whether GlaxoSmithKline is as attractive these days as a defence stock.

Far Behind in the Coronavirus Vaccine Race

It goes without saying that pharmaceutical firms in every corner of the world – big and small, are in a race to become the first to find a covid vaccine. At the time of writing, there are dozens of such pharma stocks in this race – with the likes of Inovio now in phase 2/3 of its clinical trials, while Pfizer has also begun to produce vaccines. However, GlaxoSmithKline does not have a COVID-19 vaccine of its own. Instead, it has various technologies that can assist with other vaccines that are currently being tested.

GlaxoSmithKline Shares Buy or Sell?

It’s difficult to get overly excited about GlaxoSmithKline. While many pharmaceutical stocks are up for the year – GlaxoSmithKline is moving in the wrong direction. This is particularly concerning when you consider the stock is often viewed as a defence company that investors turn to in times of economic uncertainties.

Furthermore, it is somewhat surprising – considering the sheer strength of the firm’s balance sheet and free cash flows – that GlaxoSmithKline is not in the process of working on a covid vaccine. Sure, it possesses technologies that could be outsourced to other COVID-19 vaccine candidates – but this in itself is in the early stages of testing.

On the flip side, it should be noted that GlaxoSmithKline shares are still offering a trialling dividend yield of just above 5% – which is certainly attractive when you consider the number of FTSE 100 companies that have either cut or outright suspended dividends this year.

The Verdict?

While there are certainly more attractive pharmaceutical stocks available to invest in, the process of buying GlaxoSmithKline shares is simple. In our view, the best online broker to do this with is a FCA regulated broker – as you won’t pay any commissions or fees to invest.

Other Vaccine Shares

Interested in investing in other pharmaceutical companies that are involved in developing a coronavirus vaccine? Check out the list below.


How much is GlaxoSmithKline worth?

What stock exchange are GlaxoSmithKline shares listed on?

Do GlaxoSmithKline shares pay dividends?

Why are GlaxoSmithKline shares falling?

How do you buy shares in GlaxoSmithKline in the UK?

Who is the Chief Executive of GlaxoSmithKline?


Kane Pepi

Kane Pepi

Kane Pepi is a British researcher and writer that specializes in finance, financial crime, and blockchain technology. Now based in Malta, Kane writes for a number of platforms in the online domain. In particular, Kane is skilled at explaining complex financial subjects in a user-friendly manner. Academically, Kane holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance, a Master’s Degree in Financial Crime, and he is currently engaged in a Doctorate Degree researching the money laundering threats of the blockchain economy. Kane is also behind peer-reviewed publications - which includes an in-depth study into the relationship between money laundering and UK bookmakers. You will also find Kane’s material at websites such as MoneyCheck, the Motley Fool, InsideBitcoins, Blockonomi, Learnbonds, and the Malta Association of Compliance Officers.