CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) is a real standout among Australia’s listed healthcare companies.

I find the products both mind-boggling and awe inspiring for their ability to save lives. The products may be complex and very specialised, but it’s important to understand how they contribute to the company’s core revenue streams before investing.

How does CSL Limited make money?

CSL Limited’s revenues can be sorted into five product categories:

CSL Revenue

Source: CSL Limied 2015 Annual report. Chart: Author

Immunoglobulins (41%)

These are antibodies used by the immune system to protect us against illness. CSL’s products, including Hizentra, are used to treat and prevent infections and to treat autoimmune diseases.

People often need these products if they are born without the immunities and antibodies they need, known as Primary immunodeficiency. According to research in the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics, this impacts 1-in-500 people in the U.S.

Other/specialty products (27%)

This includes products like Kcentra, which helps blood clotting for patients that need urgent surgery but are taking the blood thinner Warfarin, which prevents blood clots.

Another example is Berinert, which treats the rare Hereditary Angioedema condition. This is the lack of a certain blood protein which can cause painful and dangerous swelling.

Albumin (14%)

Albumin is the most common type of protein found in our blood plasma and its role is to stabilise blood pressure. CSL’s Albumin products help to restore blood volume and pressure in patients after trauma or surgery. It is also used for treating burns.

Plasma-derived coagulants (10%)

These products help blood clotting and include products to treat Haemophilia A, B and other acute bleeding disorders.

Helixate (8%)

This controls and prevents bleeding in both adults and children with haemophilia A.

Foolish takeaway

The products CSL produces are well regarded and, supported by patents and trademarks, can offer a significant competitive advantage.

On top of that CSL’s financial position is fantastic, allowing year after year of growth and high compounding returns for shareholders, making it one of very few companies I would be willing to pay a premium price to own.

How 1 Man Made 100x His Money After 50

Few know, that as Warren Buffett blew out the candles on his 50th birthday cake, he had just 1% of his current fortune. Think about it: At an age when most give up hope, Buffett was just getting started on the remaining 99% of his fortune. Goes to show you that it's never too late for you to potentially get rich. Which is why we've gathered the strategies we learned from Buffett, distilled them down to 11 simple lessons, and put it in an exclusive report for you to claim. Just click here to learn more about this handy investing guide.

HOT OFF THE PRESSES: Motley Fool’s #1 Dividend Pick for 2017!

With its shares up 155% in just the last five years, this ‘under the radar’ consumer favourite is both a hot growth stock AND our expert’s #1 dividend pick for 2017. Now we’re pulling back the curtain for you... And all you have to do to discover the name, code and a full analysis is enter your email below!

Simply enter your email now to receive your copy of our brand-new FREE report, “The Motley Fool’s Top Dividend Stock for 2017.”

By clicking this button, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. We will use your email address only to keep you informed about updates to our website and about other products and services we think might interest you. You can unsubscribe from Take Stock at anytime. Please refer to our https://www.fool.com.au/financial-services-guide">Financial Services Guide (FSG) for more information.

Motley Fool contributor Regan Pearson has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.