Neil Woodford strides across the equity income landscape like a colossus, gazing down upon his competitors as they scurry about like ants in the dust.
Okay, perhaps that’s taking it a bit too far, but Neil Woodford is without doubt the UK’s best know income-focused fund manager.
And one of his largest and best known holdings for the last 15 years has been GlaxoSmithKline, the pharmaceutical and consumer goods giant which is also a household name.
But now these two giants have parted ways, with Woodford announcing recently that Glaxo was no longer a holding in his portfolio.
However, Woodford’s sale of Glaxo was only a partial exit from the pharmaceutical industry. AstraZeneca, another Big Pharma company, continues to be Woodford’s largest holding, taking up more than 8% of his main fund.
I thought it was interesting that he decided to sell Glaxo but keep AstraZeneca, so I decided to have a look both companies in this month’s Master Investor magazine.
Was he right to sell Glaxo? Should he have sold AstraZeneca instead? And, since I hold both companies in my model portfolio and personal portfolio, should I (and other dividend investors like me) follow Woodford, or not?
Was Woodford right to sell Glaxo and hold AstraZeneca?