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Should You Be Concerned About Southside Bancshares, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:SBSI) Historical Volatility?

Kayla Ward

If you own shares in Southside Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:SBSI) 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 other type, which cannot be diversified away, is the volatility of the entire market. Every stock in the market is exposed to this volatility, which is linked to the fact that stocks prices are correlated in an efficient market.

Some stocks see their prices move in concert with the market. Others tend towards stronger, gentler or unrelated 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 Southside Bancshares

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What does SBSI’s beta value mean to investors?

Given that it has a beta of 0.82, we can surmise that the Southside Bancshares 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). 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 Southside Bancshares’s revenue and earnings in the image below.

NasdaqGS:SBSI Income Statement Export January 21st 19

Could SBSI’s size cause it to be more volatile?

With a market capitalisation of US$1.2b, Southside Bancshares 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:

The Southside Bancshares doesn’t usually show much sensitivity to the broader market. This could be for a variety of reasons. Typically, smaller companies have a low beta if their share price tends to move a lot due to company specific developments. Alternatively, an strong dividend payer might move less than the market because investors are valuing it for its income stream. In order to fully understand whether SBSI is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as Southside Bancshares’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 SBSI’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for SBSI’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has SBSI 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 SBSI’s historicals for more clarity.
  3. Other Interesting Stocks: It’s worth checking to see how SBSI measures up against other companies on valuation. You could start with this free list of prospective options.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.