Leading brokers are keeping their faith in stalwart blue-chip ASX share, CSL Limited (ASX: CSL). This is despite the biotherapies company’s shares trading 20% down on their pre-pandemic peak of $336.40.
CSL finished the session on Friday at $268.16, down 2.93% for the day and almost 8% down year-to-date.
A major reason for the CSL share price being this low is two very tough years during the pandemic. CSL relies on blood plasma donations to develop its suite of medicines and vaccines. COVID-19 lockdowns around the world, particularly in the United States, made this incredibly difficult.
What has been happening lately for CSL?
As my Fool colleague Monica reported on Tuesday, plasma collections are now roughly back to pre-pandemic levels. CSL is also using new technology to reduce the time it takes to donate plasma by 30%.
In addition, CSL is awaiting the finalisation of its acquisition of Swiss company, Vifor Pharma. Vifor is a world leader in the development and manufacture of products to treat kidney disease and iron deficiency. CSL recently told the ASX that everything was on track for the purchase to be completed next month.
The company also presented at the 2022 Macquarie Australia Conference in Sydney this week.
So, what are the experts saying about CSL?
Citi recently reaffirmed its buy rating on CSL with a share price target of $335 price target. This implies a potential 25% upside on Friday’s closing price.
Bell Potter likes CSL’s leadership position in plasma therapies and also what the Vifor Pharma buy will do for the company. The broker explained:
The soon to be completed acquisition of Vifor Pharma will add global leadership in pharmaceutical products for renal disease and iron deficiency.
The global growth in plasma volumes is expected to be around a solid 8% per annum for the foreseeable future and, in addition, the group is planning to launch new products from its very extensive Research and Development portfolio.
History of the CSL share price
The CSL share price began a fantastic decade of growth in late 2011 when it was trading at about $30. Over about the next five years, CSL shares grew in value by 225%. They cracked the $200 mark in mid-2018 and the $300 mark in early 2020.