Why did the Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) share price have such a great year in 2021?

A smiling man at a shop counter takes payment from a female customer, with racks of plants in the background.

The Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) share price performed well through 2021.

After ending 2020 trading at $50.40, the company’s share price rose to close 2021 at $59.30.

That means the retail conglomerate gained 17.66% last year, recording a high of $67.20 and a low of $49.01.

For context, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) gained 13% last year.

Here’s a run-down of some of the company’s best moments on the ASX in 2021, and some of its worst.

Here’s what moved the Wesfarmers share price in 2021

The Wesfarmers share price started 2021 out on the wrong foot, plummeting 7% in a week after releasing both its results for the first half of financial year 2021 and news of its lithium joint venture.

After the market closed on 7 February, Wesfarmers announced it had committed to funding its joint venture, Covalent Lithium‘s, Kwianna Refinery. It also announced it had finalised the Mt Holland project’s updated definitive feasibility study.

The following morning, it released its half year earnings. The company posted a 16.6% increase in revenue (approximately $17.77 billion), a 23.3% increase to earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) (around $2.13 billion), and a 25.5% jump in net profit after tax (approximately $1.41 billion).

It was a similar story for the company’s full year results, released in August. Wesfarmers was once again up in all major financial metrics – except operating cash flows – and announced a $2.3 capital return to shareholders.

Though, once again, the market responded poorly, bidding the Wesfarmers share price 2.75% lower.

Finally, in mid-2021, Wesfarmers announced its intent to takeover the owner of Priceline, Australian Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (ASX: API).

Initially, the ASX 200 giant posed an offer of $1.38 per share for the pharmaceutical company. However, API’s board rejected that offer.

It upped its bid to $1.55 in September, and there it stays.

That’s despite both Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW) and Sigma Healthcare Ltd (ASX: SIG) posting rival bids. Each of the rival bids has since been withdrawn.

Now, the market is awaiting the release of a scheme booklet containing more details of the acquisition.

As of its most recent close, the Wesfarmers share price had slumped to trade at $56.35. That represents a 4.9% fall for 2022 so far.

The post Why did the Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) share price have such a great year in 2021? appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

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Motley Fool contributor Brooke Cooper 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 owns and has recommended Wesfarmers Limited. 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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