The market diagnosis for Aspen Pharmacare looks dire. In the past month the group’s shares have shed almost 30%. Over six months the share price is down about 50%, and over three years a stomach-churning 80%.

These are not the vital signs investors would associate with one of the top-performing JSE blue-chip counters over the past two decades. Worries about its debt aside, the share price movements suggest there is an underlying fear that Aspen’s results for the year to end-June might throw out a few operational ailments.

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