Here’s what happened to the Bank of Queensland (ASX:BOQ) share price in 2021?

The bank enjoyed a buoyant 2021 before diving in the last few months of the year.

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Key Points

  • The Bank of Queensland share price is currently up 0.85% to $8.30
  • The company completed its ME Bank acquisition in July 2021
  • Senior management is conducting on-market trades, taking advantage of share price weakness

The Bank of Queensland Limited (ASX: BOQ) share price continued its ascent in 2021, despite dipping in the latter months.

Over the calendar year, the regional bank’s shares climbed almost 8%, spurred by investor confidence in the market. In comparison, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) gained roughly 13% over the same period.

For the final day of 2021, Bank of Queensland shares closed down 1.34% to $8.09 apiece. It’s worth noting that in early October, its share price touched a 52-week high of $9.84 before treading lower.

What happened to Bank of Queensland shares?

You could be forgiven for thinking that with Australia constantly facing pandemic challenges, the Bank of Queensland share price would suffer.

However, the company’s shares have rallied higher to reach pre-COVID levels, reflecting optimism among investors.

The Bank of Queensland completed its acquisition of ME Bank in July, achieving a critical milestone in its multi-brand strategy. It aims to compete with the big banks offering portfolio diversification and a common digital retail bank technology platform.

In addition, the company moved to strengthen its board, with the inclusion of ME Bank director Deborah Kiers. This led Bank of Queensland shares to leap from the mid $8 mark to as high as $9.73 in the following month (August).

However, the company’s share price sunk during November despite Bank of Queensland not releasing any price-sensitive market announcements to the ASX. It seems the broader market weakness, coupled with the new Omicron variant, may have put pressure on investor confidence.

This led to Bank of Queensland shares falling across the final months of 2021. In particular, losses extended from 8 November to 6 December, when BOQ shares hit a 52-week low of $7.55.

Senior executive and chair Patrick Allaway appeared to think that the company’s share price was trading at a bargain. Mr Allaway conducted an on-market trade, buying 10,000 Bank of Queensland shares at $8.55 each back in early November.

Non-executive director Mickie Rosen followed suit, also picking up 10,000 shares during the middle of November at $8.50 apiece.

Are Bank of Queensland shares a buy?

A couple of brokers weighed in on the Bank of Queensland share price last month.

Analysts at Jarden cut its 12-month price target on the regional bank’s shares by 5% to $9.60. Based on the current price of $8.30, this implies an upside of around 15.6% for investors.

The most recent broker note, however, came from JPMorgan which also slashed its outlook on Bank of Queensland shares by 2% to $9.80. Similar to Jarden, this indicates an attractive upside of roughly 18% from where it trades today.

Bank of Queensland commands a market capitalisation of about $5.33 billion, with approximately 642 million shares on its books.

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