The stories that rocked the ASX 200 in 2021 revisited

We take a look back at some of the biggest news events for ASX 200 companies this year…

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The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has returned a respectable 11% since this year kicked off. However, the solid gain has come with its fair share of potholes and surprises along the way.

For some ASX 200 constituents, the year involved debacles that derailed their share price. On the other hand, other companies relished in positive updates. With this in mind, we delved into this year’s archives to find out which stories involving ASX 200 companies attracted the most interest among our readers.

Here are the stories involving some of the biggest companies on the ASX that gained attention this year.

Why the AGL Energy share price continues to sink lower

It looks like investors were searching for answers to why one of Australia’s largest energy retailers was suffering continued selling pressure in February. At the time, AGL Energy Limited (ASX: AGL) was trading at $10.93 per share — setting a new 10-year low.

Our coverage highlighted AGL’s lacking profitability and negative outlook due to its coal-fired power plant operations. Unfortunately for shareholders, the AGL share price has gone on to fall a further 44% since then. At present, shares in the company are trading at $6.16 apiece.

Paying attention to this ASX 200 share after it slides lower

Another ASX 200 share attracting attention this year was A2 Milk Company Ltd (ASX: A2M). The infant formula and liquid milk producer continued its downward trajectory in 2021 after already falling a significant amount in the previous year. This poor performance stemmed from the restrictions on international travel, which impacted the company’s daigou sales channel.

In January, our coverage of why investors might still consider A2 Milk a buy garnered plenty of attention. However, much like AGL, the A2 Milk share price went on to fall further through the year. Shares in the company are now trading at $5.53 apiece.

Rollercoaster Zip share price

Buy now, pay later (BNPL) providers were the flavour of the month in February 2021. One of those companies was ASX 200 constituent Zip Co Ltd (ASX: Z1P). From the first trading session of the year to 16 February, the Zip share price skyrocketed 149%.

As a result, readers turned to our coverage when the BNPL company soared 13% to a record high of $12.39. This strong upwards move came amid rumours of a potential second list on the US market. Two days later, Zip tumbled 19% as sentiment for the BNPL sector waned. The Zip share price closed on Friday at $4.39.

Woolies takes a haircut

Flashing back to June this year and we witnessed the Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW) share price plummet 15% in a single day. Understandably, market participants were searching for answers to this drastic move in one of the biggest companies in the ASX 200.

Fortunately, readers of our coverage came to realise that the fall in price was nothing concerning. Instead, it was a reflection of the de-merger of Endeavour Group Limited (ASX: EDV). The Woolworths share price is currently $37.71.

ASX 200 bank announces $6bn buyback

The last story on our list involves the biggest company included in the ASX 200 — Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA). Following the bank’s announcement of a $6 billion share buyback in its full-year results, investors wanted to know more.

Unlike some of the other market-shaking news on this list, CBA’s announcement was more of a pleasant surprise to shareholders. Our coverage described how the Commonwealth Bank’s buyback would be off-market via a tender offer. Likewise, the article covered what this process would entail for shareholders looking to participate in the program.

Shares in CBA are up 20% since the beginning of the year and are currently swapping hands for $100.63 apiece.

Motley Fool contributor Mitchell Lawler owns Commonwealth Bank of Australia. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns and has recommended ZIPCOLTD FPO. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended A2 Milk. 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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