How did the Medibank (ASX:MPL) share price perform in 2021?

ASX share price movement represented by doctor pressing digitised screen with array of icons including one entitled health insurance

The Medibank Private Ltd (ASX: MPL) share price had a modest run over the past 12 months. The company managed to navigate itself through tough market conditions caused by COVID-19.

In 2021, Medibank shares gained 11%, which was almost in line with the broader S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO). The latter rose around 13.5% across the same timeframe.

At yesterday’s market close, the private health insurance company’s shares closed 0.3% higher to $3.40 apiece. A sharp contrast compared to the benchmark index which fell heavily by 2.74% to 7,358.3 points.

What happened to the Medibank share price in 2021?

The Medibank share price rose strongly during the first half of the year, underpinned by solid growth across key financial metrics.

Management noted that more people are continuing to prioritise their health and wellbeing through private health insurance. This is due to the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and heightened pressure on the public system.

Notably, the company experienced its biggest growth in more than 10 years, with market share up 37 basis points. 

In addition, ongoing focus on Medibank customers led to improved retention, and record customer advocacy levels.

Undoubtedly, this helped push the company’s shares to near record highs during the months of August and September.

Fast-forward to November, Medibank shares slightly backtracked due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant. Rules regarding density limits as well as ongoing restrictions in Victoria and New South Wales have impacted the health system.

The uncertainty of when the post-COVID era will actually happen has driven the company’s shares momentarily lower.

Is this a buying opportunity?

A couple of brokers weighed in on the Medibank share price during the final months of 2021.

Multinational investment bank, Macquarie raised its 12-month price target by 2.9% to $3.55 for Medibank shares. This implies an upside of around 4.4% based on the current share price.

Following suit, Australian investment firm, Morgans also lifted its assessment on Medibank shares by 8.2% to also $3.55. Its analysts believe that there is still some value left in the private health insurance company.

The post How did the Medibank (ASX:MPL) share price perform in 2021? appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

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Motley Fool contributor Aaron Teboneras 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 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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