Shares in Value Logo
Product Review Img Vertical

Date : 17/08/2022

CSL Limited

ASX :

CSL

Market Cap : $142.77 Billion

Dividend Per Share : $3.11

Dividend Yield : 1.06 %

Hold

52 Week Range : $240.10 - $319.78

Share Price : $292.40

CSL's plasma volumes are back but costs are increasing to service those high volumes. We recommend a 'Hold'.

Company Analysis

CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) announced its FY22 earnings. We saw profits drop by 6% and come in marginally less than consensus market expectations. In the first half of the year, CSL navigated a very challenging operating environment as lockdowns and Covid19 protocols hindered their plasma collection business, particularly in the USA, where CSL generates 50% of their revenues.

However, in the second half, these operations have recovered as expected – leading to a growth in revenues of 2%. During the period, CSL experienced Increased costs for plasma collections and higher fixed cost absorption when plasma volumes were still low.

Why did these costs increase? CSL was forced to almost double new plasma donor collection fees in areas of the US and offer free flu vaccines as it works to reverse the COVID-19-induced drop-off in collection volumes.

It was an effort to boost plasma donations, and it has been successful, with collections now above pre-pandemic levels. However, it has weighted on CSL’s NPAT.

Highlights from the result were:

  • CSL delivered a net profit after tax of $2.255 billion for the 2022 financial year, down 6% at CC (constant currency) and at the top end of CSL’s guidance,
  • Revenue up 3% at CC. The performance is as expected in a difficult global environment.
  • Earnings per share $4.81, down 8%
  • Final dividend of US$1.18 per share (approximately A$1.68, franked at 10%)
  • Total full-year dividend steady at US$2.22
  • Converted to Australian currency, the total full-year dividend is approximately A$3.11 per share, up 6%.

CSL Operational Performance

CSL has built a stellar product portfolio that is essential to the global healthcare industry. All 3 of their segments are essential and are back to healthy levels following a difficult operating environment. During the year:

  • There was Significant growth in Research & Development investment
  • Strong growth in market-leading haemophilia B product IDELVION and key specialty product KCENTRA
  • Immunoglobulin sales were limited by constrained plasma collections in FY21, and improved second half performance reflects growth in plasma collected
  • Significant growth in plasma collections volume expected to underpin future Ig and albumin sales growth
  • Exceptional performance by influenza vaccines business, CSL Seqirus
  • Garadacimab (HAE) positive top line data
  • Acquisition of Vifor Pharma completed on 9 August 2022

CSL Behring

Total revenue was US$8,598 million, up 2% compared to the prior comparable period.

Immunoglobulin (Ig) product sales of US$4,024 million were down 3% 1 as supply was constrained by the lower plasma collected in the previous year. Despite the challenging environment, HIZENTRA (Immune Globulin Subcutaneous (Human), 20% Liquid) sales were steady due to the preference for home administration and the continued uptake for HIZENTRA for the treatment of Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP), a debilitating neurological disorder.

PRIVIGEN (Immune Globulin Intravenous (Human), 10% Liquid) declined modestly, impacted by supply constraints and the patient preference for HIZENTRA. The underlying demand for Ig continues to be robust due to significant patient needs in core indications – namely Primary Immune Deficiency, Secondary Immune Deficiency and CIDP.

Specialty product sales of US$1,792 million, up 3%, led predominately by demand for KCENTRA and, to a lesser extent HAEGARDA.

KCENTRA recorded sales growth of 18%, as hospital demand for the product returned to pre-pandemic levels driven by penetration within large hospitals and expansion into smaller regional accounts.

HAEGARDA, a therapy for patients with hereditary angioedema, grew by 5%, driven by continued patient growth and a continued shift from on-demand to prophylaxis treatment. New launches in Europe and Australia have contributed to the rise in patient numbers.

Growth in the specialty portfolio was offset by lower wound healing product sales in Japan and a decline in ZEMAIRA (alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor) following supply interruptions at our Kankakee facility in the US.

Haemophilia product sales of US$1,166 million increased 8%.

IDELVION, CSL Behring’s novel long-acting recombinant factor IX product, achieved strong growth of 20%, driven by its clinical profile that continues to attract patient demand and gain market share. It remains the market leader in the treatment of haemophilia B patients.

The haemophilia A market has been competitive, resulting in sales declines for AFSTYLA, a novel recombinant factor VIII product, and plasma-derived products. Albumin sales of US$1,072 million were down 1%.

Sales in China were up strongly, whereas sales in other major markets such as the US and Europe declined modestly due to the supply constraints from the lower plasma collections in the previous year.

Plasma collections

Whilst plasma collections were adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in the previous financial year, this year saw strong growth, with plasma volumes collected up 24%. This resulted from targeted marketing efforts and enhanced digital initiatives to attract donors. The cost of collections also increased, including donor compensation and labour. Plasma collection volumes are now above pre-pandemic levels.

CSL Seqirus

Total revenue of $1,964 million was up 13%, driven by growth in seasonal influenza vaccines and CSL Seqirus’ differentiated high-value products, particularly FLUAD, the adjuvanted product for the elderly market.

Financial Position remains Strong

CSL’s balance sheet remains strong, with net assets of US$14,578 million. Current assets increased by 123% to US$16,461 million. The main driver was strong cash inflows from operations and equity and debt proceeds related to the acquisition of Vifor.

Non-current assets increased by 10% to US$11,885 million compared to the previous year. The increase is mainly due to ongoing capital project spending, new right of use assets relating to new facilities’ leases, and the on-market acquisition of a minority of Vifor shares.

Outlook

CSL has continued to invest in all parts of its business. Importantly, R&D investments have increased by 17%. This will help CSL grow organically in the long term.

The strong growth we have seen in plasma collections is anticipated to continue as COVID recedes and underpin strong future sales growth in CSL’s core plasma therapies. The current higher cost of plasma is also expected to prevail into FY23.

The influenza business, CSL Seqirus, is positioned to deliver another strong year driven by demand for its differentiated products.

CSL’s guidance for revenue growth is 7% – 11%.

CSL’s net profit after tax for FY23 is anticipated to be approximately $2.4 billion to $2.5 billion at constant currency, returning to strong, sustainable growth. This is about an 8% growth over FY22.

This guidance excludes CSL Vifor earnings and costs associated with the acquisition. CSL added that they would update the market to include CSL Vifor at the “first practicable opportunity”.

Our earlier coverage can be viewed by clicking here.

Recommendation

While CSL delivered a result within their guidance range, the market expectations were higher and were not met. Revenues are up as plasma volumes are now above pre-pandemic levels. However, costs have increased for CSL, reducing profits marginally. This theme is expected to continue in FY23. CSL remains a robust business that issued guidance that will place growth in the 8% range for FY23. We recommend investors ‘Hold‘ positions for now as we continue to monitor the stock for buying opportunities in the future.

Scroll to Top

Login

By submitting this form, I agree to the TERMS AND CONDITIONS and PRIVATE POLICY