If you're interested in Ambac Financial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMBC), 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 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 see their prices move in concert with the market. Others tend towards stronger, gentler or unrelated 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.
What we can learn from AMBC's beta value
As it happens, Ambac Financial Group has a five year beta of 0.94. This is fairly close to 1, so the stock has historically shown a somewhat similar level of volatility as the 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. Beta is worth considering, but it's also important to consider whether Ambac Financial Group is growing earnings and revenue. You can take a look for yourself, below.
How does AMBC's size impact its beta?
Ambac Financial Group is a small cap stock with a market capitalisation of US$841m. Most companies this size are actively traded. 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:
Ambac Financial Group 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 AMBC is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as Ambac Financial Group’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 AMBC’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for AMBC’s outlook.
Past Track Record: Has AMBC 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 AMBC's historicals for more clarity.
Other Interesting Stocks: It's worth checking to see how AMBC measures up against other companies on valuation. You could start with this free list of prospective options.
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