U.S. Markets open in 2 hrs 6 mins

Before You Buy 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. (NASDAQ:FLWS), Consider Its Volatility

Simply Wall St

Want to participate in a short research study? Help shape the future of investing tools and you could win a $250 gift card!

If you own shares in 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. (NASDAQ:FLWS) then it's worth thinking about how it contributes to the volatility of your portfolio, overall. In finance, Beta is a measure of volatility. Modern finance theory considers volatility to be a measure of risk, and there are two main types of price volatility. The first category is company specific volatility. This can be dealt with by limiting your exposure to any particular stock. 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 are more sensitive to general market forces than others. 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 greater than one is more sensitive to broader market movements than a stock with a beta of less than one.

View our latest analysis for 1-800-FLOWERS.COM

What does FLWS's beta value mean to investors?

Looking at the last five years, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM has a beta of 1.44. The fact that this is well above 1 indicates that its share price movements have shown sensitivity to overall market volatility. If the past is any guide, we would expect that 1-800-FLOWERS.COM shares will rise quicker than the markets in times of optimism, but fall faster in times of pessimism. 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 1-800-FLOWERS.COM's revenue and earnings in the image below.

NasdaqGS:FLWS Income Statement, June 17th 2019

Does FLWS's size influence the expected beta?

With a market capitalisation of US$1.3b, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM is a small cap stock. However, it is big enough to catch the attention of professional investors. It has a relatively high beta, which is not unusual among small-cap stocks. Because it takes less capital to move the share price of a smaller company, actively traded small-cap stocks often have a higher beta that a similar large-cap stock.

What this means for you:

Beta only tells us that the 1-800-FLOWERS.COM share price is sensitive to broader market movements. This could indicate that it is a high growth company, or is heavily influenced by sentiment because it is speculative. Alternatively, it could have operating leverage in its business model. Ultimately, beta is an interesting metric, but there's plenty more to learn. This article aims to educate investors about beta values, but it's well worth looking at important company-specific fundamentals such as 1-800-FLOWERS.COM’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 FLWS’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for FLWS’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has FLWS 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 FLWS's historicals for more clarity.
  3. Other Interesting Stocks: It's worth checking to see how FLWS measures up against other companies on valuation. You could start with this free list of prospective options.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.