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CSP Inc (NASDAQ:CSPI): Risks You Need To Consider Before Buying

Phillip Young

If you’re interested in CSP Inc (NASDAQ:CSPI), 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 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 are more sensitive to general market forces than others. 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 greater than one is more sensitive to broader market movements than a stock with a beta of less than one.

See our latest analysis for CSP

What CSPI’s beta value tells investors

Given that it has a beta of 1.31, we can surmise that the CSP share price has been fairly sensitive to market volatility (over the last 5 years). If the past is any guide, we would expect that CSP shares will rise quicker than the markets in times of optimism, but fall faster in times of pessimism. Share price volatility is well worth considering, but most long term investors consider the history of revenue and earnings growth to be more important. Take a look at how CSP fares in that regard, below.

NasdaqGM:CSPI Income Statement Export September 14th 18

Does CSPI’s size influence the expected beta?

CSP is a noticeably small company, with a market capitalisation of US$52.8m. Most companies this size are not always actively traded. 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 CSP 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. This article aims to educate investors about beta values, but it’s well worth looking at important company-specific fundamentals such as CSP’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 CSPI’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for CSPI’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has CSPI 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 CSPI’s historicals for more clarity.
  3. Other Interesting Stocks: It’s worth checking to see how CSPI 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.