Like most shares on the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO), the National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX: NAB) share price had a fairly successful year in 2021. While the ASX 200 managed to put on around 13% over the year that was, NAB shares went that extra mile.
Rising from $22.60 at the start of the year to $28.84 by New Year’s Eve, NAB managed to clock a very healthy 27.61% return for 2021. Throw in NAB’s dual-set of fully franked dividends and we have a return exceeding 30%. For the less mathematically-minded readers out there, that’s more than twice the returns of the broader ASX 200 market.
But putting things in some perspective, this ASX big four bank is still down by 2.6% over the past 5 years. It’s also down close to 40% from the all-time high of more than $40 a share that we saw way back in 2007.
But since all of that is now in the bag for shareholders, let’s turn our attention to what 2022 might have in store for the NAB share price.
NAB share price: buy, hold or sell in 2022?
So one expert investor who is bullish on NAB going into this year is investment bank and broker Goldman Sachs. Goldman currently rates the NAB share price as a ‘buy’. That comes with a 12-month share price target of $31.15, implying a future potential capital growth upside of just over 6% from where NAB shares are currently at.
This broker actually picks NAB out of any of the big four at the moment as its “preferred sector exposure”. It notes the bank’s cost management programs, as well as its focus on the commercial side of the banking industry compared to its peers.
But Goldman isn’t the only broker currently eyeing NAB off. As my Fool colleague James covered just today, Bell Potter is also anticipating some upside from NAB shares. Not to be outdone by Goldman, Bell Potter currently rates NAB as a buy, with a price target of $32 (close to a 9% upside). This broker likes NAB’s recent additions of ‘neobank’ 86 400, as well as the proposed acquisition of Citigroup’s local consumer business.
Bell Potter is also pencilling in higher dividends in both FY2022 and FY2023, with the broker expecting to see $1.345 in dividends per share in the latter. That would equate to a forward yield of 4.58% on current pricing.
So there you have it, two ASX brokers who are calling NAB shares a buy today. Only time will tell who ends up being right with their share price targets. But if either is to be believed, it looks as though 2022 will be another robust (if not quite as successful as 2021) year for this big four share.
At the current NAB share price, this ASX 200 bank has a market capitalisation of $95.82 billion, with a trailing dividend yield of 4.32%.