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Before You Buy ProntoForms Corporation (CVE:PFM), Consider Its Volatility

Simply Wall St

If you're interested in ProntoForms Corporation (CVE:PFM), 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. 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 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 see their prices move in concert with the market. Others tend towards stronger, gentler or unrelated price movements. 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. 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.

Check out our latest analysis for ProntoForms

What we can learn from PFM's beta value

ProntoForms has a five-year beta of 0.97. This is reasonably close to the market beta of 1, so the stock has in the past displayed similar levels of volatility to the overall 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. Beta is worth considering, but it's also important to consider whether ProntoForms is growing earnings and revenue. You can take a look for yourself, below.

TSXV:PFM Income Statement, November 8th 2019

Could PFM's size cause it to be more volatile?

ProntoForms is a noticeably small company, with a market capitalisation of CA$67m. Most companies this size are not always actively traded. Companies this small are usually more volatile than the market, whether or not that volatility is correlated. Therefore, it's a bit surprising to see that this stock has a beta value so close to the overall market.

What this means for you:

It is probable that there is a link between the share price of ProntoForms and the broader market, since it has a beta value quite close to one. However, long term investors are generally well served by looking past market volatility and focussing on the underlying development of the business. If that's your game, metrics such as revenue, earnings and cash flow will be more useful. In order to fully understand whether PFM is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as ProntoForms’s financial health and performance track record. I highly recommend you dive deeper by considering the following:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for PFM’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for PFM’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has PFM 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 PFM's historicals for more clarity.
  3. Other Interesting Stocks: It's worth checking to see how PFM 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.