If you're interested in Bar Harbor Bankshares (NYSEMKT:BHB), then you might want to consider its beta (a measure of share price volatility) in order to understand how the stock could impact your portfolio. Modern finance theory considers volatility to be a measure of risk, and there are two main types of price volatility. First, we have company specific volatility, which is the price gyrations of an individual stock. Holding at least 8 stocks can reduce this kind of risk across a portfolio. The second type is the broader market volatility, which you cannot diversify away, since it arises from macroeconomic factors which directly affects all the stocks on the market.
Some stocks mimic the volatility of the market quite closely, while others demonstrate muted, exagerrated or uncorrelated price movements. Some investors use beta as a measure of how much a certain stock is impacted by market risk (volatility). While we should keep in mind that Warren Buffett has cautioned that 'Volatility is far from synonymous with risk', beta is still a useful factor to consider. To make good use of it you must first know that the beta of the overall market is one. Any stock with a beta of greater than one is considered more volatile than the market, while those with a beta below one are either less volatile or poorly correlated with the market.
What BHB's beta value tells investors
As it happens, Bar Harbor Bankshares has a five year beta of 0.94. This is fairly close to 1, so the stock has historically shown a somewhat similar level of volatility as the market. If the future looks like the past, we could therefore consider it likely that the stock price will experience share price volatility that is roughly similar to the overall market. Many would argue that beta is useful in position sizing, but fundamental metrics such as revenue and earnings are more important overall. You can see Bar Harbor Bankshares's revenue and earnings in the image below.
Could BHB's size cause it to be more volatile?
With a market capitalisation of US$343m, Bar Harbor Bankshares is a very small company by global standards. It is quite likely to be unknown to most investors. It doesn't take much money to really move the share price of a company as small as this one. That makes it somewhat unusual that it has a beta value so close to the overall market.
What this means for you:
Since Bar Harbor Bankshares has a beta close to one, it will probably show a positive return when the market is moving up, based on history. If you're trying to generate better returns than the market, it would be worth thinking about other metrics such as cashflows, dividends and revenue growth might be a more useful guide to the future. In order to fully understand whether BHB is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as Bar Harbor Bankshares’s financial health and performance track record. I urge you to continue your research by taking a look at the following:
- Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for BHB’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for BHB’s outlook.
- Past Track Record: Has BHB 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 BHB's historicals for more clarity.
- Other Interesting Stocks: It's worth checking to see how BHB measures up against other companies on valuation. You could start with this free list of prospective options.
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