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Does Ameris Bancorp (NASDAQ:ABCB) Have A High Beta?

Simply Wall St

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If you own shares in Ameris Bancorp (NASDAQ:ABCB) then it's worth thinking about how it contributes to the volatility of your portfolio, overall. In finance, Beta is a measure of volatility. Volatility is considered to be a measure of risk in modern finance theory. Investors may think of volatility as falling into two main categories. First, we have company specific volatility, which is the price gyrations of an individual stock. Holding at least 8 stocks can reduce this kind of risk across a 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 mimic the volatility of the market quite closely, while others demonstrate muted, exagerrated or uncorrelated 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. 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 Ameris Bancorp

What does ABCB's beta value mean to investors?

Looking at the last five years, Ameris Bancorp has a beta of 1.44. The fact that this is well above 1 indicates that its share price movements have shown sensitivity to overall market volatility. If this beta value holds true in the future, Ameris Bancorp shares are likely to rise more than the market when the market is going up, but fall faster when the market is going down. Beta is worth considering, but it's also important to consider whether Ameris Bancorp is growing earnings and revenue. You can take a look for yourself, below.

NasdaqGS:ABCB Income Statement, June 24th 2019

Could ABCB's size cause it to be more volatile?

With a market capitalisation of US$1.8b, Ameris Bancorp is a small cap stock. However, it is big enough to catch the attention of professional investors. It's not particularly surprising that it has a higher beta than the overall market. That's because it takes less money to influence the share price of a smaller company, than a bigger company.

What this means for you:

Since Ameris Bancorp 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. In order to fully understand whether ABCB is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as Ameris Bancorp’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 ABCB’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for ABCB’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has ABCB 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 ABCB's historicals for more clarity.
  3. Other Interesting Stocks: It's worth checking to see how ABCB 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.