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If you own shares in Lifetime Brands, Inc. (NASDAQ:LCUT) 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 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 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.
What LCUT's beta value tells investors
Zooming in on Lifetime Brands, we see it has a five year beta of 1.20. This is above 1, so historically its share price has been influenced by the broader volatility of the stock market. Based on this history, investors should be aware that Lifetime Brands are likely to rise strongly in times of greed, but sell off in times of fear. 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 Lifetime Brands's revenue and earnings in the image below.
How does LCUT's size impact its beta?
Lifetime Brands is a rather small company. It has a market capitalisation of US$114m, which means it is probably under the radar of most investors. It has a relatively high beta, suggesting it is fairly actively traded for a company of its size. Because it takes less capital to move the share price of a small company like this, when a stock this size is actively traded it is quite often more sensitive to market volatility than similar large companies.
What this means for you:
Since Lifetime Brands tends to move 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 Lifetime Brands’s financial health and performance track record. I highly recommend you dive deeper by considering the following:
Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for LCUT’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for LCUT’s outlook.
Past Track Record: Has LCUT 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 LCUT's historicals for more clarity.
Other Interesting Stocks: It's worth checking to see how LCUT 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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