Has CSL been growing its dividend?

Is the biotech giant still increasing its dividends in a post-COVID world?

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Key points

  • The CSL share price has been stuck in the mud for years now
  • It's a different story to the last decade, which saw the company grow massively
  • But even though CSL shares aren't growing in value, we check what's happening with the company's dividends

The recent performance of the CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) share price might have brought some disappointment for ASX investors. Shares of this ASX 200 healthcare giant have been stuck in the mud for a while now. The company last saw an all-time high back in February 2020 – right before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

Back then, CSL shares reached as high as $336 a share. But that was more than two years ago now. CSL has rarely even approached those levels since. It climbed above the $300 mark a few times last year. But, on each occasion, that didn’t end up lasting too long. CSL hasn’t been above $300 in 2022 at all. Today, it’s finished at $274.03, up 0.38%.

So CSL is trading at the same level it was in November 2019. The company’s stagnant performance since then is a far cry from the glory days the years prior which typically saw CSL jump by double-digits every year.

But what of the company’s dividends? Since the CSL share price has been so lethargic, dividend returns have had to keep investors placated. So has the CSL dividend been growing in recent years?

Has the CSL dividend been growing?

Well, sort of. In most cases, it’s fairly easy to determine this kind of question. But CSL makes things just a little more complicated than usual. That’s because this company pay its dividends in US dollars. And in greenback terms, yes, CSL has been increasing its dividend very consistently.

In 2021, the healthcare company paid out a total of US$2.22 in dividends per share, consisting of an interim dividend of US$1.04 and a final dividend of US$1.18.

That was a healthy increase on the US$2.02 in dividends per share CSL doled out in 2020. It also represents the latest annual dividend increase (in US dollar terms) in what is now almost a ten-year streak.

However, there is a caveat. In Australian dollar terms, CSL’s dividends have not had such a nice, linear streak of dividend growth. Although CSL increased its dividends from US$2.02 to US$2.22 between 2020 and 2021, it was a different story in Australian dollar terms.

Due to currency fluctuations, CSL investors did not receive a dividend increase in 2021. The company paid out a total of $2.941 in dividends per share in 2020, but only $2.939 in 2021.

Still, CSL has shown an impressive history of delivering a growing dividend to ASX investors over many years. At today’s pricing, CSL offers a trailing dividend yield of 0.95%.

Motley Fool contributor Sebastian Bowen has positions in CSL Ltd. 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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