A rather ho-hum reaction from investors yesterday to another solid result from CSL, the current market darling and most expensive share on the ASX.
The shares rose just 0.7% to $328.25 after CSL upgraded its full-year profit guidance, reported an 11% rise in half-year profit and boosted interim dividend.
CSL reported net profit after tax of $US1.29 billion ($A1.92 billion) for the six months to December 31, on a constant currency basis, up from $US1.16 billion in the same period last year.
On the back of the higher interim result, CSL upgraded its full-year profit outlook to between $US2.11 billion to $US2.17 billion.
That is up from previous guidance of $US2.05 billion to $US2.11 billion and would be 10% to 13% up on 2018-19. The revised guidance implies CSL will deliver growth of between 8% and 16% in the June half.
CSL declared an interim dividend of US95 US cents ($A1.41), up 10 cents from the first half last year.
CEO Paul Perreault the growth was underpinned by continued strong patient demand for IG (immunoglobulin (IG)) products, together with two IG products now being used to treat the debilitating neurological disorder CIDP (Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy).
There was also continued growth in CSL’s hemophilia products and “another strong performance” in its flu vaccines business, Mr. Perreault said.
“CSL is well-positioned for sustainable growth,” Mr. Perreault said.
“Exceptional demand continues for our differentiated therapies. We expect to again outpace the market in expanding plasma collections and our objective to open 40 new collection centres this financial year is on track.”
Statutory net profit, which does not strip-out the impact of currency movements, was up 7.5% to $US1.2 billion, while statutory sales revenue was up 8.4% to $US4.7 billion.
The result helps explain why CSL shares are up 19% so far this year (the ASX 200 is up just on 6% and 76% in the past 12 months.