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Before You Buy United Therapeutics Corporation (NASDAQ:UTHR), Consider Its Volatility

Simply Wall St

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Anyone researching United Therapeutics Corporation (NASDAQ:UTHR) might want to consider the historical volatility of the share price. Modern finance theory considers volatility to be a measure of risk, and there are two main types of price volatility. The first type is company specific volatility. Investors use diversification across uncorrelated stocks to reduce this kind of price volatility across the portfolio. The other type, which cannot be diversified away, is the volatility of the entire market. Every stock in the market is exposed to this volatility, which is linked to the fact that stocks prices are correlated in an efficient 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.

See our latest analysis for United Therapeutics

What does UTHR's beta value mean to investors?

With a beta of 1.01, (which is quite close to 1) the share price of United Therapeutics has historically been about as voltile as the broader 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 United Therapeutics is growing earnings and revenue. You can take a look for yourself, below.

NasdaqGS:UTHR Income Statement, May 8th 2019

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

With a market capitalisation of US$4.4b, United Therapeutics is a pretty big company, even by global standards. It is quite likely well known to very many investors. We shouldn't be surprised to see a large company like this with a beta value quite close to the market average. Large companies often move roughly in line with the market. In part, that's because there are fewer individual events that are signficant enough to markedly change the value of the stock (compared to small companies, at least).

What this means for you:

United Therapeutics has a beta value quite close to that of the overall market. That doesn't tell us much on its own, so it is probably worth considering whether the company is growing, if you're looking for stocks that will go up more than the overall market. In order to fully understand whether UTHR is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as United Therapeutics’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 UTHR’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for UTHR’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has UTHR 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 UTHR's historicals for more clarity.
  3. Other Interesting Stocks: It's worth checking to see how UTHR 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.