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The CSL share price rocketed 49% higher in 2019

James Mickleboro
share price higher

The CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) share price was a strong performer again in 2019.

Over the 12 months the biotherapeutics company’s shares recorded a gain of 48.9%.

This was an even stronger gain than those made by popular growth shares A2 Milk Company Ltd (ASX: A2M) and WiseTech Global Ltd (ASX: WTC).

Why did the CSL share price rocket higher in 2019?

Investors were scrambling to buy CSL’s shares last year thanks largely to its impressive performance in FY 2019 and positive outlook for the current financial year.

In FY 2019 CSL grew its revenue by 11% to US$8,539 million and net profit after tax by 17% to US$1,919 million. The key drivers of this solid result were strong demand for its immunoglobulins and albumin products.

During the 12 months, sales of immunoglobulins grew at an above-market rate of 16% to US$3,543 million. A range of factors supported this increase, including increased usage for chronic therapies, growing awareness and diagnosis, and the expanding usage for secondary immunodeficiency.

Supporting this was a 15% jump in albumin sales and a 6% lift in Speciality sales. The latter was driven by high patient demand for its Haegarda and Kcentra products.

Overall, this led to the core CSL Behring business delivering an 11% increase in total revenue to US$7,343 million.

Finally, the Seqirus influenza vaccine business was also a strong performer during FY 2019. Thanks to strong demand for its seasonal influenza vaccines, it posted a 12% increase in total revenue to US$1,196 million.

What else has supported its shares?

It appears as though investors were also impressed with management’s guidance for the year ahead.

Despite the one-off headwinds associated with its transition to a self-distribution model in China, management remains confident it can deliver solid profit growth in FY 2020.

It has forecast revenue growth of 6% and net profit after tax growth of 7% to 10% in constant currency in FY 2020.

Though, some brokers seem to think that strong demand for immunoglobulins could drive an even stronger profit result this year.

Due to market dynamics being highly favourable, Goldman Sachs recently reiterated its buy rating and lifted its price target on CSL’s shares to $300. This price target implies potential upside of more than 9% over the next 12 months.

I would agree with this view and continue to believe CSL would be a good option for investors in 2020.

The post The CSL share price rocketed 49% higher in 2019 appeared first on Motley Fool Australia.

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James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of CSL Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of A2 Milk and WiseTech Global. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

The Motley Fool's purpose is to help the world invest, better. Click here now for your free subscription to Take Stock, The Motley Fool's free investing newsletter. Packed with stock ideas and investing advice, it is essential reading for anyone looking to build and grow their wealth in the years ahead. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson. 2020