2021 was a year that was going extremely well for the Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) share price. I say ‘was’ because the last quarter of the year was certainly not as kind to Westpac shares as the first three.
Between 1 January and 28 October, the Westpac share price rose a very pleasing 33.62%. But the past few months have brought this ASX 200 bank down to earth somewhat. Between 28 October and today, Westpac has dropped a little over 18%. That pulls its year-to-date gains down to almost 9% at the time of writing.
If you throw in Westpac’s two 2021 dividends, that return gets slightly better. Westpac paid out two dividends this year. Those were an interim dividend of 58 cents per share that investors received back in June and the final dividend of 60 cents per share that was paid out earlier this week. Those dividends would have added an extra few percentage points to Westpac’s 2021 overall return.
So now that 2021 is almost in the rearview mirror, what might 2022 hold for Westpac shares?
Top ASX brokers spill on the Westpac share price
Well, let’s see what some expert ASX investors think of the Westpac share price outlook.
ASX broker Goldman Sachs is currenlty neutral on Westpac. Goldman rates Westpac shares with a 12-month share price target of $25.60 (implying a potential upside of around 20%). However, it still has some hesitations for this ASX bank share. Goldman has its eye on Westpac’s margins, which it is worried will provide a “weak platform for revenue growth in FY 2022”.
It’s also worried about Westpac’s higher exposure to the housing market, especially in New South Wales. However, it also takes note that Westpac may be able to buy back more of its shares under the current share buyback program due to the recent falls in the Westpac share price.
Goldman Sachs isn’t the only broker that is currently sitting on its hands when it comes to Westpac shares. As my Fool colleague James covered earlier this week, fellow broker Bell Potter is also currently rating Westpac shares as a hold. Bell Potter has a $22 share price target on Westpac right now. It is adopting a ‘wait-and-see’ attitude towards the bank’s ‘Fix, Simplify and Reform’ plans, since these reforms “soak time and money”.
Not all brokers are as ambivalent though. As we checked out earlier in December, broker Morgans currently rates Westpac as a ‘buy’, with a share price target of $29. This broker reckons Westpac shares are good value at these levels, pointing to its current dividend yield (sitting at 5.51% today).
So there you have it, some expert opinions on what 2022 holds in store for the Westpac share price. Time will only tell who ends up being right, so let’s see how Westpac fares in 2022!
The post Could 2022 be a good year for the Westpac (ASX:WBC) share price? appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.
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Motley Fool contributor Sebastian Bowen has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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 recommended Westpac Banking Corporation. 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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