GlaxoSmithKline shares drop on Q1 disappointment

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LONDON (AP) — GlaxoSmithKline PLC reported Wednesday a 13 percent drop in first-quarter net profit compared with a year earlier, when earnings were heavily boosted by the sale of a unit.

GlaxoSmithKline shares were down 2.4 percent at 1,422 pence as its results were weaker than anticipated.

The pharmaceutical company said profit after tax was 1.325 billion pounds ($2.1 billion), down from 1.525 billion pounds a year earlier. Profit in the first quarter of 2011 was boosted by the 1.2 billion-pound sale of the company's stake in Quest, a U.S. medical lab operator, and its North American interests in Zovirax cold sore cream.

The profit decline came despite a near 1 percent rise in revenues to 6.64 billion pounds.

James Dawson, analyst at Charles Stanley & Co, said there wasn't "any significant catalyst at this point for investors to invest further in GSK."

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