The CSL (ASX:CSL) share price is up just 3% so far in 2021. Here’s why

The company’s shares have been on a rollercoaster ride…

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A male doctor wearing a white doctor's coat shrugs and holds his hands up to indicate the unimpressive CSL share price as a result of OOVID-19

Image source: Getty Images

The CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) share price has been a hot topic over the course of the year. The company has been severely challenged by COVID-19 restrictions and this has had a profound impact on its share price.

The greatest impact has been a dramatic decline in plasma donations in the United States during the crisis.

The global biotech’s shares closed Thursday’s session at $294.65 apiece, down 1.02%.

What has CSL announced lately?

While CSL hasn’t reported any price-sensitive news since its full-year results, it did release its R&D investor briefing on Tuesday.

The company highlighted that it spent more than US$1 billion on R&D activities in the past financial year. This consisted of new product development, market development, and life cycle management products.

A number of therapeutics were approved for use across Japan, the United States, Europe, Russia, and Mexico. Most of these products came from CSL’s immunology and haematology portfolio.

In its FY21 results, CSL reported that the immunology division made US$4,238 million (A$5,648 million), which was almost half of its total revenue of US$8,547 million (A$11,391 million). Treatments for haemophilia accounted for US$1,107 million (A$1,475 million) for the year.

In addition, the company is building a new cell culture facility in Tullamarine, Victoria. Scheduled to open in 2026, the plant will produce the next-generation cell-based seasonal influenza vaccines.

CSL has an $800 million 10-year supply agreement with the Commonwealth Government for antivenoms, Q-fever vaccines and pandemic influenza vaccines.

Two broker notes came in yesterday, both raising their outlook on the CSL share price.

The first from Jefferies revealed a bullish assessment with the 12-month price target lifted by 3.1% to $338. Leading global investment firm Goldman Sachs also improved its rating on CSL shares by 1% to $305.

How is CSL comparing against the ASX 200?

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has returned 10.9% to shareholders in 2021 compared to CSL’s 3.4%.

However, when looking at a longer timeframe, this is where things start to turn.

The benchmark index has risen by an average of 6.38% per year over the past 5 years and 5.99% per year over a 10-year period. CSL, on the other hand, has surged with a yearly average of 22.98% and 25.69% respectively.

CSL share price snapshot

Since the pandemic began, CSL shares have been on a rollercoaster ride and are down about 12% since February 2020.

CSL has been hampered by the slow recovery from COVID-19, affecting the company’s business operations both domestically and internationally.

On valuation grounds, CSL is the second-largest company on the ASX with a market capitalisation of roughly $134.68 billion.

Should you invest $1,000 in CSL right now?

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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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