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Is Alpha Pro Tech, Ltd. (NYSEMKT:APT) A Volatile Stock?

Gabriel Boyd

If you own shares in Alpha Pro Tech, Ltd. (NYSEMKT:APT) then it’s worth thinking about how it contributes to the volatility of your portfolio, overall. In finance, Beta is a measure of volatility. Volatility is considered to be a measure of risk in modern finance theory. Investors may think of volatility as falling into two main categories. The first type is company specific volatility. Investors use diversification across uncorrelated stocks to reduce this kind of price volatility across the portfolio. The second sort is caused by the natural volatility of markets, overall. For example, certain macroeconomic events will impact (virtually) all stocks on the market.

Some stocks see their prices move in concert with the market. Others tend towards stronger, gentler or unrelated price movements. Beta is a widely used metric to measure a stock’s exposure to market risk (volatility). Before we go on, it’s worth noting that Warren Buffett pointed out in his 2014 letter to shareholders that ‘volatility is far from synonymous with risk.’ Having said that, beta can still be rather useful. The first thing to understand about beta is that the beta of the overall market is one. A stock with a beta below one is either less volatile than the market, or more volatile but not corellated with the overall market. In comparison a stock with a beta of over one tends to be move in a similar direction to the market in the long term, but with greater changes in price.

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What we can learn from APT’s beta value

Given that it has a beta of 1.09, we can surmise that the Alpha Pro Tech share price has been fairly sensitive to market volatility (over the last 5 years). Based on this history, investors should be aware that Alpha Pro Tech are likely to rise strongly in times of greed, but sell off in times of fear. Beta is worth considering, but it’s also important to consider whether Alpha Pro Tech is growing earnings and revenue. You can take a look for yourself, below.

AMEX:APT Income Statement Export January 11th 19

How does APT’s size impact its beta?

Alpha Pro Tech is a noticeably small company, with a market capitalisation of US$54m. Most companies this size are not always actively traded. It takes less money to influence the share price of a very small company. This may explain the excess volatility implied by this beta value.

What this means for you:

Since Alpha Pro Tech tends to moves up when the market is going up, and down when it’s going down, potential investors may wish to reflect on the overall market, when considering the stock. This article aims to educate investors about beta values, but it’s well worth looking at important company-specific fundamentals such as Alpha Pro Tech’s financial health and performance track record. I urge you to continue your research by taking a look at the following:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for APT’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for APT’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has APT been consistently performing well irrespective of the ups and downs in the market? Go into more detail in the past performance analysis and take a look at the free visual representations of APT’s historicals for more clarity.
  3. Other Interesting Stocks: It’s worth checking to see how APT measures up against other companies on valuation. You could start with this free list of prospective options.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.