If you own shares in Danaos Corporation (NYSE:DAC) then it’s worth thinking about how it contributes to the volatility of your portfolio, overall. In finance, Beta is a measure of volatility. 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 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. 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.
What does DAC’s beta value mean to investors?
Looking at the last five years, Danaos has a beta of 0.87. The fact that this is well below 1 indicates that its share price movements haven’t historically been very sensitive to overall market volatility. 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). 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 Danaos fares in that regard, below.
Does DAC’s size influence the expected beta?
Danaos is a noticeably small company, with a market capitalisation of US$218m. Most companies this size are not always actively traded. It is not unusual for very small companies to have a low beta value, especially if only low volumes of shares are traded. Even when they are traded more actively, the share price is often more susceptible to company specific developments than overall market volatility.
What this means for you:
One potential advantage of owning low beta stocks like Danaos is that your overall portfolio won’t be too sensitive to overall market movements. However, this can be a blessing or a curse, depending on what’s happening in the broader market. In order to fully understand whether DAC is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as Danaos’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 DAC’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for DAC’s outlook.
- Past Track Record: Has DAC 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 DAC’s historicals for more clarity.
- Other Interesting Stocks: It’s worth checking to see how DAC 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.