Down 12% over the past year, is the Woolworths share price a dead duck?

Is this a buy-the-dip opportunity for one of the ASX's largest shares?

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It has not been a good time for the Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW) share price in recent months. At the time of writing, this ASX 200 supermarket operator and blue chip share is trading at $32.14 a share, down 1.08% for the day.

This pricing puts Woolworths shares down 11.85% over the past 12 months. Woolworths is also down an even worse 14.3% year to date. Since the company's last 52-week high of $40.35 (reached in June last year), investors have now weathered a drop of over 20%.

So can we now call the Woolworths share price a dead duck?

Why is the Woolworths share price on the nose?

Woolworths has just had one of the roughest months in recent history. For one, its half-year earnings results that were released back on 21 February were arguably a little lacklustre.

The company reported a 4.4% rise in revenues to $34.64 billion. However, Woolworths also delivered a loss after significant items of $781 million, driven by a $1.5 billion writedown of its New Zealand business.

It didn't help that at the same time, Woolworths' long-serving CEO, Bradford Banducci, unexpectedly announced his resignation.

Banducci had an awkward interview walkout just a few days prior. So although he made pains to state that this resignation had been in the pipeline for a while, the optics certainly weren't good.

When investors were presented with these two events, they responded by taking the Woolworths share price by almost 7% in one day. This almost single-handedly explains why the Woolworths share price had such a rough trot over the past 12 months.

Are Woolies shares a buy or a dead duck today?

Well, one ASX expert who thinks Woolies shares are far from being dead (or a duck) is broker Goldman Sachs. As my Fool colleague James covered earlier this month, Goldman views Woolies as a top buy right now.

Following the company's recent earnings (and leadership shakeup), Goldman labelled the company as a 'conviction buy', and gave it a 12-month share price target of $40.40.

Here's how the broker justified its bullishness:

[We] believe the business has among the highest consumer stickiness and loyalty among peers, and hence has strong ability to drive market share gains via its omni-channel advantage, as well as its ability to pass through any cost inflation to protect its margins, beyond market expectations.

No doubt nervous Woolworths investors will take some comfort from those views. But we'll have to wait and see what happens over the next 12 months.

At the current Woolworths share price, this ASX 200 blue-chip stock has a market capitalisation of $39.7 billion, with a dividend yield of 3.26%.

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 positions in and has recommended Goldman Sachs Group. 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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