What happened with the Woodside share price in FY 2024?

The Woodside share price has a year to forget in FY 2024. But why?

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The Woodside Energy Group Ltd (ASX: WDS) share price had a tough run in the financial year just past.

Shares in the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) oil and gas stock closed out FY 2023 trading for $34.44. On 28 June, the final trading day of FY 2024, shares closed the day changing hands for $28.21 apiece.

That saw the Woodside share price down 18.1% over the 12 months.

For some context, the ASX 200 gained 7.8% over this same period.

So, why did the ASX 200 energy stock have such a dismal year?

Why did the Woodside share price tumble in FY 2024?

Despite some courtroom successes that helped put the company's major growth projects, like Scarborough, back on track, the Woodside share price began a marked downtrend in late October.

By then, Woodside's record six-month net profit after tax of US$1.74 billion for the second half of FY 2023, reported on 22 August, looked to have been forgotten. Though perhaps not the 27% cut to Woodside's interim fully franked dividend.

In December, the markets were abuzz with news of merger discussions that would have seen Woodside combine with Santos Ltd (ASX: STO). That possibility provided a big lift for Santos shares. But the Woodside share price didn't really get a boost, with analysts speculating Santos would be the biggest beneficiary of any merger.

Indeed, on 7 February, when the companies announced that the merger would not proceed, the Santos share price closed down 5.8% while Woodside shares gained 0.5%.

Commenting on that decision at the time, Woodside CEO Meg O'Neill said:

We continue to be disciplined in our approach to mergers and acquisitions and capital management to create and deliver value for shareholders.

While the discussions with Santos did not result in a transaction, Woodside considers that the global LNG sector provides significant potential for value creation.

Then, for its full 2023 calendar year results, released on 27 February, Woodside revealed that its operating revenue declined by 17% year on year to US$13.99 billion.

Impacted by higher production costs, underlying net profit after tax was down 37% to US$3.32 billion. This saw a 58% reduction in the final dividend.

And the third quarter results of FY 2024, reported on 19 April, didn't do much to help the Woodside either.

Quarterly revenue dropped by 12% from the prior quarter, hit by lower realised prices and lower production volumes over the three months.

As for FY 2025, the Woodside share price ended the first trading week of the new financial year up 3.7% at $29.24.

Motley Fool contributor Bernd Struben 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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