Why did the Wesfarmers share price outperform the ASX 200 in March?

A woman wearing yellow smiles and drinks coffee while on laptop.A woman wearing yellow smiles and drinks coffee while on laptop.

The Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) share price has performed well in March 2023, rising by 4% over the month at the time of writing. That compares to a fall of around 1% in the past month for the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO).

The ASX 200 is made up of a number of businesses including BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP), CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) and numerous ASX bank shares.

What happened to the ASX 200?

With banks playing such a large role in the ASX 200, any worries about the banking sector can have a sizeable hit on the ASX 200.

At the time of writing, the banks are showing a sizeable decline over the last month, including the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) share price being down 2.6%, the National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB) sliding being down 8%, the Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) share price dropping 3.5%, the ANZ Group Holdings Ltd (ASX: ANZ) share price being down 7% and the Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG) share price falling 7.4%.

Combined, the ASX 200 banks had a bad month amid the difficulties for the banking sector in the US and Europe.

Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) collapsed, though depositors were saved and now First Citizens is buying the venture capitalist-focused bank.

Investment bank Credit Suisse was saved by UBS amid concerns about its operations.

While the bank share prices suffered over the month, ASX 200 banks have been telling investors that they are well-capitalised and can get through any difficulties.

Did anything specific impact the Wesfarmers share price?

The company may have seen some volatility amid the worries about contagion from the banking worries.

However, Wesfarmers isn’t a bank, so may not have been impacted as much.

Plus, the Wesfarmers share price continues to recover from the lows seen in 2022.

It didn’t announce anything that was market sensitive to investors this month, the FY23 half-year result was released last month. The business also went ex-dividend last month, so that wasn’t an impact on the Wesfarmers share price either.

But, the company did provide a presentation for its chemicals, energy and fertilisers (WesCEF) business where it outlined its portfolio of “complementary businesses” with “clear competitive advantages”.

Wesfarmers pointed out that these businesses have achieved “market-leading performance”, with “continuous productivity improvements”.

It also pointed out that it has a track record of “successful expansion through incremental investment with significant further opportunities providing a pipeline for growth”.

WesCEF also has “major project and chemical processing experience that can be leveraged into emerging sectors” such as lithium. The company is currently working on the Mt Holland lithium project.

Wesfarmers share price snapshot

Since the start of 2023, the business has risen by around 10%.

The post Why did the Wesfarmers share price outperform the ASX 200 in March? appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

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More reading

Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has positions in and has recommended CSL. The Motley Fool Australia has positions in and has recommended Macquarie Group and Wesfarmers. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Westpac Banking. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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