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If you're interested in Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc. (NASDAQ:EGLE), 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 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. 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 EGLE's beta value mean to investors?
Zooming in on Eagle Bulk Shipping, we see it has a five year beta of 1.43. 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, Eagle Bulk Shipping shares are likely to rise more than the market when the market is going up, but fall faster when the market is going down. Many would argue that beta is useful in position sizing, but fundamental metrics such as revenue and earnings are more important overall. You can see Eagle Bulk Shipping's revenue and earnings in the image below.
How does EGLE's size impact its beta?
With a market capitalisation of US$351m, Eagle Bulk Shipping is a very small company by global standards. It is quite likely to be unknown to most investors. It has a relatively high beta, suggesting it is fairly actively traded for a company of its size. Because it takes less capital to move the share price of a small company like this, when a stock this size is actively traded it is quite often more sensitive to market volatility than similar large companies.
What this means for you:
Beta only tells us that the Eagle Bulk Shipping 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 EGLE is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as Eagle Bulk Shipping’s financial health and performance track record. I urge you to continue your research by taking a look at the following:
Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for EGLE’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for EGLE’s outlook.
Past Track Record: Has EGLE 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 EGLE's historicals for more clarity.
Other Interesting Stocks: It's worth checking to see how EGLE 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 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. Thank you for reading.