What happened to the Woodside (ASX:WPL) share price in 2021?

Shares in the oil and gas company fell in 2021. We take a closer look
The post What happened to the Woodside (ASX:WPL) share price in 2021? appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia. –

The Woodside Petroleum Ltd (ASX: WPL) share price finished 2021 in the red despite a positive start to the year.

The oil and gas company’s share price fell 4.94% for the year, finishing at $21.93. For perspective, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) gained 13% in 2021.

At least this year’s result was greener than 2020, when the company’s shares slumped 33%.

Let’s take a look at what weighed on the Woodside share price during the year.

How did the year play out?

The year started with a bang for the Woodside share price which hit a yearly high of $27.40 on January 20, up 20%. A major reason for this was the surging oil prices in January. Also helping to boost the share price was news Woodside would expand its long-term LNG supply agreement with Uniper Global Commodities.

However, its shares then slid sharply at the end of January, falling more than 10% at the end of the month. A broker note out of UBS downgraded the energy producer’s shares to a neutral rating at the time.

The Woodside share price had its sharpest fall in August, dropping 11.67% between August 13 and 19.

That came despite positive half-year results from the company. Woodside revealed a $317 million net profit after tax compared to a $4 billion loss in 1H 2020.  Meanwhile, operating revenue jumped 31.3% to $2.5 billion 

However, a major announcement on a merger with BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP) was also weighing on investors’ minds. If approved by shareholders, Woodside will issue shares to BHP shareholders and create a new joint company. However, as my Foolish colleague Mitchell reported at the time, this was slammed by a key investor.

But while the Woodside share price may have slid slower, the company’s dividend increased by 14%. The energy company reported a US 30 cents per share distribution, equating to AU 41.6 cents.

In September and early October, its shares were surging again, jumping 23.71% between September 20 and October 11 despite no price-sensitive announcements from the company.

This came on the back of soaring energy prices. Brent crude prices surged 12.8% in 3 weeks from US$73.92 per barrel to US$83.33 

Then in November, the Woodside share price took another dive, falling nearly 9%. Investors received an update on the merger with BHP, providing a minor bump to the company’s stock. However, global oil prices crashed on the emergence of the Omicron COVID-19 variant. Oil prices sank 13% to $68.15 a barrel on the day of that announcement.

On the bright side, shares in the company jumped 2.33% in the final month of the year and climbed on news of a new energy plan. The company will invest $5 billion in emerging new energy markets by 2030.

December also saw the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission give the green light to its acquisition of BHP. The company also appointed Graham Tiver as the new chief financial officer and executive vice president.

Woodside share price snapshot

The Woodside share price fared roughly 18% worse than the broader ASX 200 Index in 2021.

The company has a market capitalisation of more than $21 billion based on the current share price.

The new year is also bringing some joy to Woodside. The Brent crude oil price is up 1.54% to US$78.98 a barrel. At the time of writing, Woodside shares are swapping hands for $22.45, up 2.37%.

The post What happened to the Woodside (ASX:WPL) share price in 2021? appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

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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.

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