CSL (ASX:CSL) share price wobbles on plasma and vaccine update

The CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) share price has been in the spotlight in recent memory. We take a closer look as to what’s lowering its shares.

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The CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) share price has been in the spotlight in recent memory. This follows concerns over its plasma collections as well as its progress in producing the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

At the time of writing, the global biotech’s shares are trading for $264.64, down 1.3% for the day.

Plasma worries

COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the global economy and virtually shut down foot traffic movement in the United States.

Unfortunately for CSL, this has affected its plasma collections as fewer people are donating blood to its collection centres. The company last provided an update in March advising that December 2020 plasma volumes were sitting around 80% of the December 2019 levels.

This has led CSL to approach the public for ideas on how it can maximise the yield and processing efficiency in human immunoglobulins.

CSL Behring’s immunoglobulins are much needed for running its business operations. Derived from plasma, human immunoglobulins are a lifesaving therapy that prevent and fight rare and serious infections.

The company is offering $40,000 on the winning idea as well as two one-on-one mentoring sessions with CSL Behring.

COVID-19 vaccine update

Furthermore, CSL is striving to increase production of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. So far, Australia has administered over 1.65 million vaccinations to the public, averaging around 60 thousand doses per day.

The Australian government has indicated that it’s strongly considering bringing vaccine manufacturing capability to Australia within the next decade. This would protect Australians from present and future pandemics through local supply, avoiding political problems such as the European shipment block.

CSL has put its hand up for this proposal and is in current discussions with the Australian government. Although, it may take some time to set up such a facility and begin producing important vaccines.

Broker update

The latest broker update came from investment bank Macquarie yesterday, issuing a price target of $282.50 for CSL. While it may have cut its outlook by 1.9% from its original note, this represents an upside of almost 7%.

CSL share price review

Over the last 12 months, the CSL share price has faltered and is now trading at the same price as recorded in November 2019. The company’s shares momentarily reached a high of $320.42 in late November 2020 before trending downwards and moving sideways since.

As one of the ASX market’s largest companies in terms of market capitalisation, the CSL share price is valued at $120.2 billion. Furthermore, the company has more than 455 million shares on issue.

Aaron Teboneras 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 owns shares of and has recommended Macquarie Group Limited. 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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