After being stuck in the mud for 3 years, are CSL shares a buy today?

Is it buy or sell for CSL today?

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Key points

  • CSL shares used to be a rather bulletproof investment, or so it seemed 
  • For almost a decade, the CSL share price mostly went up 
  • But CSL has been stuck in neutral for a while now. So could it be a buy today? 

The CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) share price used to be one of the most seemingly bulletproof investments on the ASX. For years and years, it seemed CSL shares could only go up. And this was true for a time. CSL spent eight years from 2012 to 2020 rising from around $30 to over $300, finally topping out at roughly $336 a share in February 2020.

But the past three years have been a very different story for CSL shares. Since reaching the all-time high of $336 a share in February 2020, CSL has yet to reclaim that high. In fact, the company is today sitting at just over $273 a share at the time of writing. That’s a good 19% or so away from CSL’s high watermark. The first time CSL hit $270 a share, it was back in late 2019. That means that for almost three years, CSL shares have been stuck in the mud. On today’s pricing, the company remains down by 6.5% over the past 12 months, and down close to 8% in 2022 so far.

So is it winner to loser for CSL? Or does this meandering share price performance give investors a compelling buy case for CSL today?

Are CSL shares a buy today?

Well, ASX broker Citi reckons it’s the latter. As my Fool colleague James covered last week, Citi is currently a fan of CSL shares. It has given the ASX 200 healthcare giant a buy rating and a 12-month share price target of $335 – back to its old all-time high. The broker reckons that CSL will continue to benefit from improved plasma collections and “strong underlying demand” for its products.

But Citi isn’t the only fan of CSL shares right now. My Fool colleague Tony covered an ASX fund manager’s opinion on CSL this morning, and it was also a bullish one. Catapult Wealth portfolio manager Tim Haselum named CSL as one of the two ASX shares he reckons is a best buy now. Haselum pointed to CSL’s “lifesaving and non-discretionary nature”, as well as its track record in making lucrative acquisitions, for this optimism.

So that’s how two ASX expert investors are viewing CSL shares right now. The CSL share price has been stuck in the mud for a few years. But if these two investors are to be believed, it might just hit the road again soon.

At the current CSL share price, this ASX 200 healthcare share has a market capitalisation of $131.56 billion, with a dividend yield of 0.95%.

Motley Fool contributor Sebastian Bowen has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has positions in 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 Scott Phillips.

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