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Before You Buy VAALCO Energy, Inc. (NYSE:EGY), Consider Its Volatility

Simply Wall St

If you own shares in VAALCO Energy, Inc. (NYSE:EGY) 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 mimic the volatility of the market quite closely, while others demonstrate muted, exagerrated or uncorrelated price movements. 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 VAALCO Energy

What EGY's beta value tells investors

Zooming in on VAALCO Energy, we see it has a five year beta of 1.23. 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 VAALCO Energy are likely to rise strongly in times of greed, but sell off in times of fear. Beta is worth considering, but it's also important to consider whether VAALCO Energy is growing earnings and revenue. You can take a look for yourself, below.

NYSE:EGY Income Statement, October 27th 2019

Does EGY's size influence the expected beta?

VAALCO Energy is a rather small company. It has a market capitalisation of US$120m, which means it is probably under the radar of most investors. It takes less money to influence the share price of a very small company. This may explain the excess volatility implied by this beta value.

What this means for you:

Since VAALCO Energy tends to moves 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 VAALCO Energy’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 EGY’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for EGY’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has EGY 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 EGY's historicals for more clarity.
  3. Other Interesting Stocks: It's worth checking to see how EGY 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.