Anyone researching Cabot Microelectronics Corporation (NASDAQ:CCMP) might want to consider the historical volatility of the share price. 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 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.
What we can learn from CCMP's beta value
Zooming in on Cabot Microelectronics, we see it has a five year beta of 1.33. This is above 1, so historically its share price has been influenced by the broader volatility of the stock market. If this beta value holds true in the future, Cabot Microelectronics shares are likely to rise more than the market when the market is going up, but fall faster when the market is going down. Beta is worth considering, but it's also important to consider whether Cabot Microelectronics is growing earnings and revenue. You can take a look for yourself, below.
Does CCMP's size influence the expected beta?
Cabot Microelectronics is a fairly large company. It has a market capitalisation of US$4.3b, which means it is probably on the radar of most investors. It takes a lot of money to influence the share price of large companies like this one. That makes it interesting to note that its share price has a history of sensitivity to market volatility. There might be some aspect of the business that means profits are leveraged to the economic cycle.
What this means for you:
Beta only tells us that the Cabot Microelectronics share price is sensitive to broader market movements. This could indicate that it is a high growth company, or is heavily influenced by sentiment because it is speculative. Alternatively, it could have operating leverage in its business model. Ultimately, beta is an interesting metric, but there's plenty more to learn. In order to fully understand whether CCMP is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as Cabot Microelectronics’s financial health and performance track record. I highly recommend you dive deeper by considering the following:
- Financial Health: Are CCMP’s operations financially sustainable? Balance sheets can be hard to analyze, which is why we’ve done it for you. Check out our financial health checks here.
- Past Track Record: Has CCMP 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 CCMP's historicals for more clarity.
- Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore our free list of these great stocks here.
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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