A LOOK in the five most traded stocks over the last month it throws up some familiar names.
First on the list is BP. The oil giant is a regular in the top spot (rival Shell retains its usual fifth place) and August is no exception. Actively traded and widely owned, BP is a stock that many love to hate, but it is nonetheless more often than not an investor favourite. What else made the top five?
4. Lloyds Banking Group
(Source: Fidelity Brokerage, August 2022)
In early August, BP reported its highest quarterly profit in 14 years as the war in Ukraine, which has sent commodity markets into turmoil, continues to boost BP’s results.
BP’s underlying profit of $8.5bn – using a measure most closely watched by analysts – was nearly three times the $2.8bn BP generated during the same three months a year earlier. And that’s also very close to the all-time high of $8.8 billion the company posted in the third quarter of 2008.
And all of this, of course, translates into very good news for BP investors. Having increased its dividend and committed to a $3.5bn share buyback in the third quarter of 2022, and having already completed $2.5bn in share buybacks between April and July, you can see why so many investors favor BP.
Second place this month in the most actively traded stocks goes to GSK, the newly targeted biopharmaceutical company. GSK raised its full-year revenue and profit forecast after sales of its shingles vaccine soared, helping the group beat expectations in the second quarter. It now expects sales to grow 6% to 8% in 2022, up from the previous forecast of 5% to 7%.
This updated guidance on the back of the first set of results since GSK spun off its consumer health division, Haleon, in July goes some way to validating the decision made to carry out the biggest European spin-off in decades.
And we can expect to hear more from GSK as it takes on Covid vaccine rivals with help from Sanofi. GSK’s new vaccine chief Phil Dormitzer, who left Pfizer last year to join GSK as head of vaccine research and development, appears to have his sights set on ending the dominance of BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna Covid vaccines. He says early data shows that the GSK vaccine had fewer side effects and tends to provide protection against infection and/or serious illness for longer.
However, despite saying that, he has also ensured that GSK has kept a finger in the mRNA vaccine pie and is now looking at its uses for Covid and beyond. GSK has partnered with German biotech company CureVac to develop a next-generation Covid-19 mRNA injection, including launching a trial of a vaccine targeting Omicron, and is also considering using the technology for other viruses.
|(%) As of August 31
Source: SF from 08.31.17 to 08.31.22 Base: Total return in GBP. Does not include initial charge.