As you probably know by now, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) had a wild, woolly and not too wholesome month of November. The ASX 200 ended up going backwards by around 0.92% over the month just gone, falling from 7,232.7 points at the start of November to 7,256 pints by the end. But how did the Coles Group Ltd (ASX: COL) share price fare?
Coles is, after all, one of the ASX 200’s largest blue chip consumer staples shares (a sector with a reputation for defensiveness and stability). Earlier this week, my Fool colleague Brooke covered Coles’ arch-rival Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW), and its rather spectacular eleventh month of 2021. Woolworths shares ended up giving investors a hefty 7.2% return. That was despite a lack of tangible news or developments out of the company during the month.
So how did Coles measure up?
Well, Coles started November at a share price of $17.14. On Tuesday 30 November, Coles shares closed at $18.02 each. That’s a gain of 5.13%. Not quite as impressive as Woolies. But still a meaningful and no-doubt pleasing outperformance of the ASX 200.
So what went right for Coles over the month?
Coles share price shows the ASX 200 how it’s done
Well, the first thing to note is that Coles held its annual general meeting last month, back on 10 November. As we covered at the time, this AGM saw Coles’ management chart its path forward from FY2021, with CEO Steven Cain telling investors that “in many ways, your company is exiting the pandemic a better business”.
Coles also conformed that its ‘Smarter Selling’ cost-cutting program had now netted more than $550 million in savings. Additionally, Cain said that he was “optimistic on the outlook for the Christmas period as Australians adjust to life after lockdown and are once again able to enjoy time with family and friends”.
At the time, this AGM received a lukewarm reception, with the Coles share price dipping in the immediate aftermath. But investors seemed to give it a second look afterwards, seeing as Coles shares were up more than 1.6% by the following week.
Another factor that may have had a hand in Coles’ impressive November was some love from ASX brokers. As my Fool colleague James covered last month, days after Coles’ AGM saw broker Citi release a bullish note on Coles shares. Citi rated Coles as a ‘buy’ with a 12-month share price target of $19.60. Citi reckons Coles shares are cheap compared to Woolworths, pointing to “supply chain cost pressures, moderating fruit deflation and pent up demand” as tailwinds.
So these factors may have been at play for Coles shares’ stellar November. At today’s Coles share price of $17.92 (so far), this ASX 200 stalwart has a market capitalisation of $23.93 billion, with a dividend yield of 3.4%.