Why the CBA share price is beating the market in May

CBA shares are outperforming in May…

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Barring a disastrous session on Tuesday, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) share price looks set to beat the market in May with a modest gain.

With the CBA share price currently fetching $106.29, Australia’s largest bank’s shares are up 0.5% this month.

This compares favourably to a month-to-date decline of 3% by the ASX 200 index.

Why is CBA share price faring better than most this month?

The CBA share price was given a boost in the middle of the month when the bank’s third-quarter update impressed the market.

In case you missed it, for the three months ended 31 March, compared to the quarterly average during the first half, CBA reported a 1% decline in operating income to $6,103 million and flat cash earnings of $2,400 million.

While this may not look overly impressive on paper, it certainly was in comparison to the market’s expectations.

For example, a note out of Citi reveals that CBA’s cash earnings were 6% ahead of its expectations and 9% ahead of the analyst consensus estimate.

Upbeat commentary

Also giving the CBA share price a boost was management’s upbeat commentary with its update.

CBA’s chief executive officer, Matt Comyn, commented:

The March quarter underlined the disciplined execution of the Group’s strategy, focused on our core banking franchises, which delivered continued volume growth, sound portfolio credit quality and ongoing support for our customers and communities. [..] Looking ahead, we are well positioned to support business investment to build Australia’s future economy. Through disciplined execution of our strategic agenda, we will continue to deliver for our customers, communities and shareholders as we build tomorrow’s bank today.

Shareholders will no doubt be hoping that the CBA share price can continue outperforming during June. Time will tell if that is the case.

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro 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 has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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