ASX market beater? Here’s how Coles shares performed during March

The ASX 200 had a stellar month last month. But how did Coles shares do?

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Key points

  • The ASX 200 managed to shoot the lights out last month
  • Cole finished up March trading at $17.91 a share. That's a gain of 3.05%
  • The supermarket giant paid out its interim dividend during the month as well

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) ended up having a very solid month during March, after what was an extremely volatile start to the year. Over the month just passed, the ASX 200 gained a healthy 6.4%. But how did the Coles Group Ltd (ASX: COL) share price fare?

Coles is one of the mid-tier blue-chip shares of the ASX 200. It of course owns the supermarket chain of the same name, and is the second-largest player in its market, coming runner up to Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW).

Coles is often cited as a defensive ASX share due to its consumer staples nature and strong dividend record. So let’s see how it fared over March.

Coles started the month at a share price of $17.38. Last week, the grocer finished up March trading at $17.91 a share. That’s a gain of 3.05%. Nothing to complain about of course. But also a performance worth less than half of what the ASX 200 delivered.

A caveat though. Coles paid out its interim dividend during March as well. The value of this payment left the Coles share price on 3 March when the company traded ex-dividend and hit investors’ bank accounts on 31 March. Since both of these dates fall within the month, we can add the value of this dividend (worth a yield of 1.84% on the day it was received) to those returns if we wish.

So now that March is done and dusted, what could be in store for the Coles share price going forward?

Is the Coles share price a buy today?

Well, one ASX broker who is expecting big things is Citi. As my Fool colleague James covered last week, Citi is currently bullish on Coles shares, with a “buy” rating and a 12-month share price target of $19.30.

That’s around 5.5% higher than where Coles is trading today. Citi reckons the recent federal budget will result in a boost to disposable income, which the broker is expecting will flow through to sales at Coles’ supermarkets.

No doubt shareholders will be hoping that Citi’s predictions turn out to be accurate.

At the current Coles share price of $18.29 (at the time of writing), this ASX 200 supermarket share has a market capitalisation of $24.06 billion, with a dividend yield of 3.34%

Motley Fool contributor Sebastian Bowen has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns and has recommended COLESGROUP DEF SET. 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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