What would I have now if I'd invested $10,000 into Pilbara Minerals shares in April?

Was it a good idea to invest in this lithium miner last month?

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Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX: PLS) shares are a popular option for investors in the lithium industry.

But were they a good investment in April? Let's take a look and see what would have happened to a $10,000 investment in the lithium giant.

Were Pilbara Minerals shares a good investment in April?

If I were to have invested at the very end of March, I would have been able to pick up shares for $3.83 each.

This means that for an investment of $10,000 (and 13 cents), I would have ended up with 2,611 Pilbara Minerals shares.

The good news is that the lithium miner's shares defied the odds and outperformed the market during the month.

Despite the ASX 200 index falling 3% over the period, the Pilbara Minerals share price was able to climb 6% to end the month at $4.06.

Based on this, the market value of those 2,611 units was $10,600.66 at yesterday's close. That's a great return considering the short time frame and the market volatility.

Why did its shares outperform?

The main driver of this outperformance appears to have been the release of the miner's quarterly update.

Although the initial reaction wasn't overly positive, its shares began climbing soon after and continued through to the end of the month.

In case you missed it, Pilbara Minerals delivered a 2% quarter on quarter increase in spodumene production to 179kt and a 3% lift in spodumene sales to 165.1kt.

And thanks to its low costs, Pilbara Minerals' operations were still profitable even though its realised average spodumene price fell 28% from the second quarter to US$804 a tonne.

Are its shares a buy?

Analysts at Canaccord Genuity remain positive on the lithium miner. In response to its quarterly update, the broker retained its buy rating and $4.25 price target on its shares.

However, with Pilbara Minerals' shares currently fetching $4.13 on Wednesday, this implies only a modest upside for investors over the next 12 months.

It is also worth highlighting that the bullish brokers are becoming few and far between, with the majority now either rating its shares as neutral or a sell.

One of the most bearish brokers is Goldman Sachs, which responded to the update by reiterating its sell rating with a $2.80 price target. This implies a potential downside of 32% for investors from current levels.

Time will tell which broker made the right call on this lithium miner's shares.

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 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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