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Anyone researching Immersion Corporation (NASDAQ:IMMR) 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 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 are more sensitive to general market forces than others. Beta can be a useful tool to understand how much a stock is influenced by market risk (volatility). However, Warren Buffett said 'volatility is far from synonymous with risk' in his 2014 letter to investors. So, while useful, beta is not the only metric to consider. To use beta as an investor, you must first understand that the overall market has a beta of one. A stock with a beta greater than one is more sensitive to broader market movements than a stock with a beta of less than one.
What IMMR's beta value tells investors
As it happens, Immersion has a five year beta of 1.05. This is fairly close to 1, so the stock has historically shown a somewhat similar level of volatility as the market. While history does not always repeat, this may indicate that the stock price will continue to be exposed to market risk, albeit not overly so. Beta is worth considering, but it's also important to consider whether Immersion is growing earnings and revenue. You can take a look for yourself, below.
How does IMMR's size impact its beta?
With a market capitalisation of US$239m, Immersion is a very small company by global standards. It is quite likely to be unknown to most investors. Companies this small are usually more volatile than the market, whether or not that volatility is correlated. Therefore, it's a bit surprising to see that this stock has a beta value so close to the overall market.
What this means for you:
Since Immersion has a beta close to one, it will probably show a positive return when the market is moving up, based on history. If you're trying to generate better returns than the market, it would be worth thinking about other metrics such as cashflows, dividends and revenue growth might be a more useful guide to the future. This article aims to educate investors about beta values, but it's well worth looking at important company-specific fundamentals such as Immersion’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 IMMR’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for IMMR’s outlook.
- Past Track Record: Has IMMR 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 IMMR's historicals for more clarity.
- Other Interesting Stocks: It's worth checking to see how IMMR measures up against other companies on valuation. You could start with this free list of prospective options.
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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.