NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK - Get Report) are up 2.94% to $45.56 in pre-market trade after it was reported that the drugmaker hired Citi, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley as financial advisers on its ViiV Healthcare unit as the company explores a partial initial public offering of its HIV medicines unit, sources told Reuters.

The company is due to release full-years results this morning, and declined to comment, Reuters said.

GSK first announced in October it was looking to float its fast-growing HIV drugs operation business as part of a plan to reshape its business, in what would be the drug industry's largest ever IPO.

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The British group has a stake of nearly 80% in ViiV Healthcare, with Pfizer (PFE)  and Shionogi holding the rest, Reuters said.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates GLAXOSMITHKLINE PLC as a Buy with a ratings score of B-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate GLAXOSMITHKLINE PLC (GSK) a BUY. This is driven by some important positives, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Pharmaceuticals industry and the overall market, GLAXOSMITHKLINE PLC's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • GLAXOSMITHKLINE PLC has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, GLAXOSMITHKLINE PLC increased its bottom line by earning $3.68 versus $2.92 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($97.37 versus $3.68).
  • The gross profit margin for GLAXOSMITHKLINE PLC is rather high; currently it is at 66.18%. Regardless of GSK's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 6.95% trails the industry average.
  • GSK, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 13.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 35.5%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The share price of GLAXOSMITHKLINE PLC has not done very well: it is down 13.23% and has underperformed the S&P 500, in part reflecting the company's sharply declining earnings per share when compared to the year-earlier quarter. Looking ahead, although the push and pull of the overall market trend could certainly make a critical difference, we do not see any strong reason stemming from the company's fundamentals that would cause a continuation of last year's decline. In fact, the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: GSK Ratings Report
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