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How Does Alarm.com Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALRM) Affect Your Portfolio Volatility?

Simply Wall St

If you own shares in Alarm.com Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALRM) 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 other type, which cannot be diversified away, is the volatility of the entire market. Every stock in the market is exposed to this volatility, which is linked to the fact that stocks prices are correlated in an efficient market.

Some stocks see their prices move in concert with the market. Others tend towards stronger, gentler or unrelated price movements. 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. 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.

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See our latest analysis for Alarm.com Holdings

What does ALRM's beta value mean to investors?

Zooming in on Alarm.com Holdings, we see it has a five year beta of 1.45. 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 Alarm.com Holdings 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 Alarm.com Holdings's revenue and earnings in the image below.

NasdaqGS:ALRM Income Statement, May 20th 2019

How does ALRM's size impact its beta?

Alarm.com Holdings is a reasonably big company, with a market capitalisation of US$2.9b. Most companies this size are actively traded with decent volumes of shares changing hands each day. It has a relatively high beta, suggesting it may be somehow leveraged to macroeconomic conditions. For example, it might be a high growth stock with lots of investors trading the shares. It's notable when large companies to have high beta values, because it usually takes substantial capital flows to move their share prices.

What this means for you:

Since Alarm.com Holdings tends to moves up when the market is going up, and down when it's going down, potential investors may wish to reflect on the overall market, when considering the stock. This article aims to educate investors about beta values, but it's well worth looking at important company-specific fundamentals such as Alarm.com Holdings’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 ALRM’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for ALRM’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has ALRM 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 ALRM's historicals for more clarity.
  3. Other Interesting Stocks: It's worth checking to see how ALRM 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.