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If you own shares in Helius Medical Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:HSDT) 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. 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 HSDT's beta value tells investors
Using history as a guide, we might surmise that the share price is likely to be influenced by market volatility going forward but it probably won't be particularly sensitive to it. Share price volatility is well worth considering, but most long term investors consider the history of revenue and earnings growth to be more important. Take a look at how Helius Medical Technologies fares in that regard, below.
How does HSDT's size impact its beta?
Helius Medical Technologies is a noticeably small company, with a market capitalisation of US$18m. Most companies this size are not always actively traded. 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 Helius Medical Technologies 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. This article aims to educate investors about beta values, but it's well worth looking at important company-specific fundamentals such as Helius Medical Technologies’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 HSDT’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for HSDT’s outlook.
Past Track Record: Has HSDT 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 HSDT's historicals for more clarity.
Other Interesting Stocks: It's worth checking to see how HSDT measures up against other companies on valuation. You could start with this free list of prospective options.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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