If you own shares in Ducommun Incorporated (NYSE:DCO) then it's worth thinking about how it contributes to the volatility of your portfolio, overall. In finance, Beta is a measure of volatility. 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 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 mimic the volatility of the market quite closely, while others demonstrate muted, exagerrated or uncorrelated 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. 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 does DCO's beta value mean to investors?
Given that it has a beta of 0.88, we can surmise that the Ducommun share price has not been strongly impacted by broader market volatility (over the last 5 years). This means that -- if history is a guide -- buying the stock would reduce the impact of overall market volatility in many portfolios (depending on the beta of the portfolio, of course). Beta is worth considering, but it's also important to consider whether Ducommun is growing earnings and revenue. You can take a look for yourself, below.
Does DCO's size influence the expected beta?
With a market capitalisation of US$521m, Ducommun is a small cap stock. However, it is big enough to catch the attention of professional investors. Small cap stocks ofthen have a higher beta than the overall market. However, small companies can also be strongly impacted by company specific developments, which can move the share price in ways that are unrelated to the broader market. That could explain why this one has a low beta value.
What this means for you:
One potential advantage of owning low beta stocks like Ducommun is that your overall portfolio won't be too sensitive to overall market movements. However, this can be a blessing or a curse, depending on what's happening in the broader market. In order to fully understand whether DCO is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as Ducommun’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 DCO’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for DCO’s outlook.
- Past Track Record: Has DCO 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 DCO's historicals for more clarity.
- Other Interesting Stocks: It's worth checking to see how DCO 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 email@example.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.
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