CSL (ASX:CSL) share price pops on increased dividend

The CSL (ASX: CSL) share price is higher today after the biotech announced a dramatic lift in profits and boosted dividend for the half-year.

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CSL Ltd (ASX: CSL) shares are trending higher in early trade today following the release of the pharmaceutical giant’s half-year results. At the time of writing the CSL share price is 2.38% higher at $287.89.

Profits in tip-top shape

All eyes were on the CSL share price this morning following the release of the company’s results. Fortunately, the numbers did not disappoint, sending CSL shares higher in morning trade.

The most exhilarating number to come out of the half-year report was the company’s bumper profit. Due to increased margins, CSL managed to deliver a 45% increase to its reported net profit after tax of US$1,810 million.

Additionally, CSL’s revenue grew to US$5,739 million. Although not as substantial an increase in percentage terms, at 16.9%, the top-line growth is significant. The driving force behind the increase was a 9% lift in CSL Behring revenue and a 38% jump in Seqirus revenue.

Importantly, it appears the business segment responsible for the seasonal flu vaccine has contributed largely to the result. Seqirus added US$693 million to earnings before interest and tax – an increase of 112%.

Increased CSL dividend

As a result of the strong numbers, the CSL board increased the interim dividend by 9% to US$1.04 per share. Unfortunately, the weak US dollar to AUD means this payout is 9% lower than the prior corresponding period on a constant currency basis.

By chief executive officer and managing director Paul Perreault’s account, the future for CSL remains rosy: “Demand for CSL’s core plasma, and influenza vaccine products remain robust.”

However, there is expected to be a lift in costs in the next half as the biotech builds its research up again, after falling due to COVID-19 vaccine development efforts.

CSL share price under the microscope

The CSL share price has taken a beating over the last year, down by around 13%. COVID-19 disruptions and vaccine development efforts weighed on the business and its usual operations.

However, in the last month, the share price has experienced a reasonable 7.6% lift as some geographies return to normal.

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Mitchell Lawler has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of CSL Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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