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Does Advanced Drainage Systems, Inc. (NYSE:WMS) Have A Particularly Volatile Share Price?

Daryl Painter

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Anyone researching Advanced Drainage Systems, Inc. (NYSE:WMS) might want to consider the historical volatility of the share price. Modern finance theory considers volatility to be a measure of risk, and there are two main types of price volatility. The first category is company specific volatility. This can be dealt with by limiting your exposure to any particular stock. 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 can be a useful tool to understand how much a stock is influenced by market risk (volatility). However, Warren Buffett said ‘volatility is far from synonymous with risk’ in his 2014 letter to investors. So, while useful, beta is not the only metric to consider. To use beta as an investor, you must first understand that the overall market has a beta of 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 Advanced Drainage Systems

What does WMS’s beta value mean to investors?

With a beta of 1.06, (which is quite close to 1) the share price of Advanced Drainage Systems has historically been about as voltile as the broader market. If the future looks like the past, we could therefore consider it likely that the stock price will experience share price volatility that is roughly similar to the overall market. 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 Advanced Drainage Systems fares in that regard, below.

NYSE:WMS Income Statement Export February 1st 19

How does WMS’s size impact its beta?

Advanced Drainage Systems is a small company, but not tiny and little known. It has a market capitalisation of US$1.5b, which means it would be on the radar of intstitutional investors. It takes less capital to move the share price of small companies, and they are also more impacted by company specific events, so it’s a bit of a surprise that the beta is so close to the overall market.

What this means for you:

Advanced Drainage Systems has a beta value quite close to that of the overall market. That doesn’t tell us much on its own, so it is probably worth considering whether the company is growing, if you’re looking for stocks that will go up more than the overall market. In order to fully understand whether WMS is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as Advanced Drainage Systems’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 WMS’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for WMS’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has WMS 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 WMS’s historicals for more clarity.
  3. Other Interesting Stocks: It’s worth checking to see how WMS 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.