Westpac had a relatively stable quarter to start the new financial year
The post How did the Westpac (ASX:WBC) share price perform in the last quarter? appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia. –
The Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) share price didn’t really move much in the first quarter of this financial year.
Kicking off the new year at $25.81, shares spent the back end of July below $25.00 a unit. They quickly rose to nearly $26.00 through to mid-September, before a brief fall then rebound.
There’s been a bit of news about Westpac during the quarter that could have impacted the company’s share price.
Let’s take a closer look.
What happened to Westpac in the first quarter?
The first story that might have had an impact on the Westpac share price was the bank’s announcement it was selling its Westpac Life NZ business to Fidelity Life Assurance Company. Fidelity Life Assurance Company is New Zealand’s largest locally owned life insurer, backed by cornerstone investor the NZ Super Fund.
According to the release, the two parties agreed a sale price of NZ$400 million (approximately A$373 million) for the business. Westpac and Fidelity have also entered into an exclusive 15-year agreement for the distribution of life insurance products to Westpac’s New Zealand customers.
In the only price-sensitive news, Westpac also released an update for its third quarter.
As Motley Fool previously reported, the Westpac share price fell on the company’s outlook from the statement. The bank reiterated it was facing net interest margin (NIM) headwinds and therefore expected its second half NIM to be lower than what was achieved in the first half. It also reaffirmed its expectation for its expenses to be higher year-on-year in FY 2021.
What did brokers say about the Westpac share price?
Analysts at Citi have been positive on Westpac shares. According to a recent memo from the analysts there, they’ve slapped a buy rating on the bank’s shares and a price target of $30 per unit – a 16% increase on the current share price.
As we have told you previously, Citi is positive about the Westpac share price due to the bank’s bold cost-cutting plans.
The company currently has a cost base of approximately $12.7 billion but is aiming to reduce this down to $8 billion in the coming years.
Citi expects the bank’s cost-cutting to help offset a number of revenue headwinds it is facing. This is particularly the case in its Markets and Treasury segments, which remain under pressure.
Citi isn’t the only broker who is liking the Westpac share price — the team at Morgans is also bullish on the bank. It thinks shares in the company can reach $29.50 in the coming months.
Westpac share price snapshot
Over the past 12 months, the Westpac share price has increased by 44%. Year-to-date, shares in the company are up by more than 30%. Its 52-week high is $27.12 and its 52-week low is $16.91.
At the time of writing, Westpac shares are up 0.74% today to $25.84.
Westpac has a market capitalisation of about $94 billion.
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Motley Fool contributor Marc Sidarous owns shares of Westpac Banking Corporation. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.