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Bridgeline Digital Inc (BLIN): Risks You Need To Consider Before Buying

Alex Johannesen

For Bridgeline Digital Inc’s (NASDAQ:BLIN) shareholders, and also potential investors in the stock, understanding how the stock’s risk and return characteristics can impact your portfolio is important. The beta measures BLIN’s exposure to the wider market risk, which reflects changes in economic and political factors. Not every stock is exposed to the same level of market risk, and the market as a whole represents a beta value of one. Any stock with a beta of greater than one is considered more volatile than the market, and those with a beta less than one is generally less volatile.

See our latest analysis for BLIN

What does BLIN's beta value mean?

Bridgeline Digital’s beta of 0.06 indicates that the company is less volatile relative to the diversified market portfolio. The stock will exhibit muted movements in both the downside and upside, in response to changing economic conditions, whereas the general market may move by a lot more. BLIN's beta implies it may be a stock that investors with high-beta portfolios might find relevant if they wanted to reduce their exposure to market risk, especially during times of downturns.

How does BLIN's size and industry impact its risk?

BLIN, with its market capitalisation of USD $11.55M, is a small-cap stock, which generally have higher beta than similar companies of larger size. Furthermore, the company operates in the internet software and services industry, which has been found to have high sensitivity to market-wide shocks. As a result, we should expect a high beta for the small-cap BLIN but a low beta for the internet software and services industry. This is an interesting conclusion, since both BLIN’s size and industry indicates the stock should have a higher beta than it currently has. A potential driver of this variance can be a fundamental factor, which we will take a look at next.

NasdaqCM:BLIN Income Statement Oct 5th 17

Can BLIN's asset-composition point to a higher beta?

During times of economic downturn, low demand may cause companies to readjust production of their goods and services. It is more difficult for companies to lower their cost, if the majority of these costs are generated by fixed assets. Therefore, this is a type of risk which is associated with higher beta. I examine BLIN’s ratio of fixed assets to total assets to see whether the company is highly exposed to the risk of this type of constraint. Given that fixed assets make up less than a third of the company’s total assets, BLIN doesn’t rely heavily upon these expensive, inflexible assets to run its business during downturns. Thus, we can expect BLIN to be more stable in the face of market movements, relative to its peers of similar size but with a higher portion of fixed assets on their books. Similarly, BLIN’s beta value conveys the same message.

What this means for you:

Are you a shareholder? You could benefit from lower risk during times of economic decline by holding onto BLIN. Its low fixed cost also means that, in terms of operating leverage, it is relatively flexible during times of economic downturns. Consider the stock in terms of your other portfolio holdings, and whether it is worth investing more into BLIN.

Are you a potential investor? You should consider the stock in terms of your portfolio. It could be a valuable addition in times of an economic decline, due to its low fixed cost and low beta. However, I recommend you to also look at its fundamental factors as well, such as its current valuation and financial health to assess its investment thesis in further detail.

Beta is one aspect of your portfolio construction to consider when holding or entering into a stock. But it is certainly not the only factor. Take a look at our most recent infographic report on Bridgeline Digital for a more in-depth analysis of the stock to help you make a well-informed investment decision. But if you are not interested in Bridgeline Digital anymore, you can use our free platform to see my list of over 50 other stocks with a high growth potential.


To help readers see pass 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.