It’s been a disappointing 2021 so far for the CSL (ASX:CSL) share price

The ASX’s former darling has had a difficult year.

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Medical asx share price fall represented by worried looking patient awaiting vaccine injection

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The CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) share price has continued its disappointing run over recent weeks, falling from a June high of $307.57. While no news has been released by the global biotech, investors may have been growing impatient with the company’s performance.

During yesterday’s market close, CSL shares finished the day down 0.72% to $279.14. This means that the company’s share price has plummeted 10% in the space of 3 weeks.

What’s happened in 2021?

It’s been a turbulent year for the CSL share price marred primarily by the company’s reduced plasma collections during the pandemic.

CSL stated in its half year results that lockdowns, social distancing as well as federal government stimulus payments have had a negative impact on donations. This is particularly bad news for the company as it relies on the plasma from blood donors to make life-saving medicines.

Plasma collection costs rose as CSL was forced to offer bigger cash incentives to donors in the United States. Furthermore, new hygiene measures put in place due to COVID-19 also added to the increased overall cost.

While current plasma levels are expected to eventually bounce back, no one knows exactly when. This uncertain environment appears to have weighed down on investor hope, sending the CSL share price in circles over the past 18 months.

Top brokers weigh in on CSL

As reported by my Fool colleague yesterday, several top brokers have mixed feelings about CSL.

Citi and Goldman Sachs share a neutral rating on the biotech giant, citing price targets of $310 and $305, respectively.

Meanwhile, UBS has a buy rating and $330 price target, representing a potential 18.3% upside to the current share price.

More on the CSL share price

Since hitting a 52-week low of $242 in March this year, CSL shares have rebounded strongly, only to fall again. Interestingly, the company’s share price is at the same level the day it released its half-year results for FY21.

On valuation grounds, CSL is the third-largest company listed on the ASX, with a market capitalisation of $127 billion. That puts it just behind Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) and BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP).

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Motley Fool contributor Aaron Teboneras owns shares of CSL Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and has recommended 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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