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Should You Be Concerned About Van Lanschot Kempen N.V.'s (AMS:VLK) Historical Volatility?

Simply Wall St

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If you're interested in Van Lanschot Kempen N.V. (AMS:VLK), 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. First, we have company specific volatility, which is the price gyrations of an individual stock. Holding at least 8 stocks can reduce this kind of risk across a 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 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. 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 Van Lanschot Kempen

What we can learn from VLK's beta value

Given that it has a beta of 0.81, we can surmise that the Van Lanschot Kempen share price has not been strongly impacted by broader market volatility (over the last 5 years). This suggests that including it in your portfolio will reduce volatility arising from broader market movements, assuming your portfolio's weighted average beta is higher than 0.81. 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 Van Lanschot Kempen's revenue and earnings in the image below.

ENXTAM:VLK Income Statement, June 27th 2019

How does VLK's size impact its beta?

Van Lanschot Kempen is a small cap stock with a market capitalisation of €817m. Most companies this size are actively traded. Small companies can have a low beta value when company specific factors outweigh the influence of overall market volatility. That might be happening here.

What this means for you:

The Van Lanschot Kempen 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. This article aims to educate investors about beta values, but it's well worth looking at important company-specific fundamentals such as Van Lanschot Kempen’s financial health and performance track record. I urge you to continue your research by taking a look at the following:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for VLK’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for VLK’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has VLK 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 VLK's historicals for more clarity.
  3. Other Interesting Stocks: It's worth checking to see how VLK 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 editorial-team@simplywallst.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.