Why has the Cochlear (ASX:COH) share price been struggling lately?

Why is the medical device company underperforming the market?

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The Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH) share price has been underperforming in recent days.

Over the last month, shares in the hearing device company have fallen 2.6% and are currently trading for $235.28. Over the same period, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is 1.53% lower.

So, why are Cochlear shares struggling at the moment?

Let’s take a closer look.

Could COVID be to blame?

The current COVID-19 outbreak in Australia’s southeast could be one reason for the sluggish Cochlear share price of late.

New South Wales, Victoria, and the ACT are all under lockdown measures as the Delta variant runs rampant. This has put hospital capacity in those areas under increasing strain as coronavirus case numbers surge.

As a result, hospital elective surgery appointments are being cancelled — and this has even been mandated in Greater Sydney by the government.

Cochlear revealed in its full-year results that it generated more than 60% of its revenue from implant devices. So it’s possible the struggling Cochlear share price may be a reflection of the fact surgeries have been delayed across Australia, especially in Sydney.

What else could be affecting Cochlear shares?

The company’s shares have gone ex-dividend today.

This means investors who buy shares in a company on or after the day it goes ex-dividend are not entitled to receive the most recently announced dividend distribution.

The share price typically falls by the dividend amount on ex-dividend days as sellers who will keep the dividend seek to maximise returns.

Cochlear share price snapshot

While the Cochlear share price has been struggling over the last month, it’s also had a pretty average year.

Over the past 12 months, Cochlear shares have appreciated 16%. The ASX 200, meanwhile, is up 24.5% over the same time.

It is slightly better reading since the beginning of 2021. Year-to-date, Cochlear shares have outpaced the ASX 200 by about 13 percentage points.

Cochlear has a market capitalisation of about $15.5 billion.

Should you invest $1,000 in Cochlear right now?

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Motley Fool contributor Marc Sidarous has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and has recommended Cochlear Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Cochlear Ltd. 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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