If I'd put $5,000 in Wesfarmers shares at the start of 2024, here's what I'd have now

Are investors smiling this year? Let's see how its shares have performed.

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Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) shares are a popular option for Australian investors.

In fact, at the end of FY 2023, the company revealed that it had more than 510,000 shareholders.

And that doesn't include any investors that might indirectly own the conglomerate's shares through exchange traded funds (ETFs) like the Vanguard Australian Shares Index ETF (ASX: VAS).

In light of this, it is fair to say that the performance of Wesfarmers' shares has an impact on a lot of people.

So, has its performance been good or bad since the turn of the year? Let's take a look and find out.

How are Wesfarmers shares performing?

The good news is that Wesfarmers' shares have been very much on form this year. Investors have been snapping them up thanks to its strong performance so far in FY 2024.

In case you missed it, Wesfarmers reported a 0.5% increase in revenue to $22,673 million and a 3% lift in net profit after tax to $1,425 million. This was ahead of the market's expectations. For example, Morgans was forecasting the company's "EBIT to be down 5% mainly due to materially lower WesCEF earnings."

But thanks largely to the Kmart business, which reported a 26.5% increase in earnings for the half year, Wesfarmers was able to overcome weakness in the WesCEF business and deliver earnings growth.

What would a $5,000 investment at the start of the year be worth now?

If I had invested $5,019.52 into Wesfarmers shares at the end of last year, I would have been able to pick up 88 units.

In morning trade on Wednesday, the conglomerate's shares are pushing higher again. At the time of writing, the Wesfarmers share price is up 0.5% to $66.43.

This means that its shares are now up an impressive 16.5% since the start of the year and values my 88 units at $5,845.84.

That's an $845 return on my original investment and doesn't include the 91 cents per share fully franked interim dividend that will be paid next week.

If we add that $80.08 dividend income into the equation, I had a total return of $933 or 18.7%. And we're not even three months into the year! Here's hoping the rest of 2024 will be just as successful for investors.

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 positions in and has recommended Wesfarmers. The Motley Fool Australia has positions in and has recommended Wesfarmers. 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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