The Medibank Private Ltd (ASX: MPL) share price has been struggling lately.
Since reaching a 52-week high of $3.62 a share back on 7 September, the Medibank share price has fallen by more than 2% to sit at $3.55 a share so far today.
Even so, the company remains up by 16.6% year to date, and up a very healthy 38.3% over the past 12 months.
But why have Medibank shares been struggling over the past week or two?
Medibank share price struggles after ex-dividend date
Well, one anchor on the Medibank share price last week was its ex-dividend date.
That payment will hit investors’ pockets on 30 September. But it left the Medibank share price on 8 September when the shares went ex-dividend.
This is the primary reason why the Medibank share price has struggled ever since.
Even so, shareholders might not be too concerned. This final dividend was a boost from FY20’s final payout of 6.3 cents per share.
Another potential reason for Medibank’s recent struggle is some private health sector news.
According to a report on news.com.au this week, private health insurers like Medibank have been offering their customers ‘COVID discounts’.
The report states that “some of the largest insurers [are handing] back funds collected in premiums that didn’t get paid in claims due to Covid restrictions”.
This includes Medibank, which the report states has “also committed to returning around $105 million in Covid-19 net claims through premium relief for Australian Medibank and ahm customers with an active hospital and/or extras policy between the 2020/21 financial year”.
Whilst this news may please Medibank’s customers, it is still unquestionably deleterious to the company’s overall finances. This may have been deterring investors in recent times.