Why is the Woolworths (ASX:WOW) share price underperforming Coles today?

What’s with Woolies shares today?

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The Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW) share price is not having a great day of it so far this Tuesday. Woolworths shares are currently down by 0.1% to $39.18. That’s a little worse than what the broader S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is doing today. It’s currently up by a decent 0.27% to 7,268 points.

But it’s a lot worse than its own arch-rival Coles Group Ltd (ASX: COL). Coles shares, in contrast to Woolworths (and the ASX 200), are currently in the green today, up 0.44% to $17.02 a share.

So why are Woolworths shares down today when Coles shares are on the up? We actually saw a similar trend play out yesterday, with Coles shares also rising in the face of a falling Woolworths share price and the ASX 200 in the red.

So what’s going on?

Bricks and plastic weghing on Woolworths share price?

Well, there have been a couple of recent developments that have arguably not done Woolies any favours. Firstly, as my Fool colleague Brooke covered last week, Woolworths’ latest collectables program has run into some problems.

Woolworths Bricks, a collectable set of building blocks that “customers can use to build a miniature version of a sustainable Woolworths supermarket”, are reportedly in short supply. Shortages have resulted in many supermarkets running out of Bricks completely.

Woolworths has stated that “it has plenty of Woolworths Bricks left” and “will continue to restock stores that have run out of the collectables”. However, this may still be a factor in today’s share price performance.

Another issue that might be in play today is news of a capital raising. Not by Woolworths itself, but from one of its subsidiaries. According to a report in the Australia Financial Review (AFR) today, the private company Samsara is “eyeing a capital raising of up to $30 million”.

Samsara is a plastics recycling company that Woolworths owns a 25% stake in through its Woolworths 360 arm. Woolworths 360 was reportedly set up to “help accelerate sustainability practises across the group”.

Samsara also boasts the CSIRO’s venture capital arm Main Sequence as a shareholder, as well as the Australian National University (ANU).

Its technology enables plastics to be broken down and reused almost endlessly. Samsara’s founder and CEO Paul Riley calls it “infinite recycling”.

However, Woolworths 360 told the AFR that “we haven’t made a call on that yet” when asked if Woolworths would be participating in the capital raise. This could also be a factor in today’s Woolworths share price performance.

At the current Woolworth share price of $39.18, the company has a market capitalisation of $49.64 billion, a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 32.1 and a dividend yield of 2.76%.

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