The Coles share price just hit a 2-year low. Time to buy?

It's down, down for the Coles share price today.

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It's been a rough day for the Coles Group Ltd (ASX: COL) share price this Wednesday, on top of what has already been a horrid month. Today, the Coles share price has lost 0.91% so far pulling it down to $15.80 a share at present.

But earlier this morning, Coles shares dropped as low as $15.68 each. Not only is that a new 52-week low for this ASX 200 supermarket operator, but it's also the lowest Coles shares have traded at in more than two years.

Yep, you'd have to go back to April 2021 to find the last time the Coles share price was at the levels we are currently seeing. The company is also down around 4% in 2023 so far, as well as down 8.56% over the past 12 months, as you can see below:

Much of the company's recent lacklustre showing was a direct result of Coles' poorly received earnings report for the 2023 financial year that we got a look at last month.

As we covered at the time, these earnings saw Coles report a 5.9% rise in revenues to $40.5 billion, but a 0.3% drop in net profits after tax from continuing operations to $1.04 billion. The grocer also revealed a 4.8% hike to its full-year dividend for FY23 to 66 cents per share.

So given Coles' unfortunate time in the markets of late, many investors might be wondering if this famous ASX company might be in the buy zone today. Let's discuss that proposition.

Is the Coles share price in the buy zone after hitting a 2-year low?

At the new lows we are seeing today, the Coles share price currently has a market capitalisation of $21.15 billion, with a dividend yield of 4.18%.

One ASX broker who reckons Coles is a screaming buy at these levels is Citi. As my Fool colleague James covered earlier this week, Citi has taken a look at Coles shares and liked what it saw. This broker gave Coles a buy rating, as well as a 12-month share price target on the company of $10.30.

Citi liked what it saw with Coles' performance in FY23, despite the negative market reaction. The broker stated that the results "reinforce our view that the market looks too low on sales in FY24."

If Citi is on the money here, it could see Coles investors enjoy a gain of almost 16% over the coming 12 months, in addition to any dividend returns.

So that's probably what Coles investors were wanting to hear today. This Wednesday's new 52-week (and two-year) low might prove fleeting if Citi is correct in its assessments. But we'll just have to wait and see what happens for this ASX 200 consumer staples share going forward.

Citigroup is an advertising partner of The Ascent, a Motley Fool company. 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 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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