It's been a rough start to the week for the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) and ASX shares. At the time of writing, the ASX 200 has opened 0.14% lower so far this Monday. But let's talk about the CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) share price.
If you thought the ASX 200's start to the week was disappointing, wait until you see what's going on with CSL shares. The ASX 200 healthcare stock closed last week at a share price of $270.85. But this morning, CSL opened at $269 a share and is currently going for just $266.65 at the time of writing, down a nasty 1.55% for the day so far.
Before any CSL investors get carried away with wondering what's going wrong with their investment today, it's worth pointing out that there's a good reason for CSL's rather steep drop this Monday. This healthcare share has just traded ex-dividend for its upcoming shareholder payment.
CSL share price stutters as company trades ex-dividend
Last month, we analysed CSL's latest earnings report, covering the full 2023 financial year. It was a well-received earnings report at the time, with the healthcare giant revealing that it had managed to grow revenues by a healthy 31% in constant currency terms to US$13.31 billion.
Net profits after tax before amortisation rose by 20% in constant currency to US$2.86 billion, while reported net profits lifted by 10% to US$2.61 billion.
That enabled CSL to boost its final dividend for 2023 by 9.3% to US$1.29 per share, partially franked at 10%. That's the largest dividend CSL has ever paid out. This payment takes the company's full-year dividends to US$2.36 per share, up 6% from last year.
However, as we warned last week, CSL's ex-dividend date for this supersized shareholder payment is today. This means that anyone buying CSL shares from today onwards is not eligible to receive this latest dividend.
That's why we are seeing such a dramatic fall in the CSL share price this Monday relative to the ASX 200. It usually happens when an ASX share trades ex-dividend, and reflects this inherent loss of value for new investors going forward.
So existing CSL investors have nothing to complain about with their company seeing a share price drop today. It's the best reason to see a company have a red day on the markets.
CSL shareholders can now look forward to receiving their latest dividend next month on 4 October.
Right now, CSL shares have a dividend yield of 1.15%. The CSL share price remains down by 5.5% in 2023 to date, as well as by 10.1% over the past 12 months, as you can see below: