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Is On Deck Capital, Inc. (NYSE:ONDK) A Volatile Stock?

Simply Wall St

If you're interested in On Deck Capital, Inc. (NYSE:ONDK), 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. 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. 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 below one is either less volatile than the market, or more volatile but not corellated with the overall market. In comparison a stock with a beta of over one tends to be move in a similar direction to the market in the long term, but with greater changes in price.

View our latest analysis for On Deck Capital

What does ONDK's beta value mean to investors?

Zooming in on On Deck Capital, we see it has a five year beta of 1.88. This is above 1, so historically its share price has been influenced by the broader volatility of the stock market. If the past is any guide, we would expect that On Deck Capital shares will rise quicker than the markets in times of optimism, but fall faster in times of pessimism. 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 On Deck Capital's revenue and earnings in the image below.

NYSE:ONDK Income Statement, January 14th 2020

How does ONDK's size impact its beta?

On Deck Capital is a noticeably small company, with a market capitalisation of US$277m. Most companies this size are not always actively traded. Relatively few investors can influence the price of a smaller company, compared to a large company. This could explain the high beta value, in this case.

What this means for you:

Since On Deck Capital has a reasonably high beta, it's worth considering why it is so heavily influenced by broader market sentiment. For example, it might be a high growth stock or have a lot of operating leverage in its business model. This article aims to educate investors about beta values, but it's well worth looking at important company-specific fundamentals such as On Deck Capital’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 ONDK’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for ONDK’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has ONDK 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 ONDK's historicals for more clarity.
  3. Other Interesting Stocks: It's worth checking to see how ONDK measures up against other companies on valuation. You could start with this free list of prospective options.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.