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Does Art’s-Way Manufacturing Co., Inc. (NASDAQ:ARTW) Have A High Beta?

Jonathon Baker

If you own shares in Art’s-Way Manufacturing Co., Inc. (NASDAQ:ARTW) 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. The first category is company specific volatility. This can be dealt with by limiting your exposure to any particular stock. 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 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 greater than one is more sensitive to broader market movements than a stock with a beta of less than one.

Check out our latest analysis for Art’s-Way Manufacturing

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What does ARTW’s beta value mean to investors?

Zooming in on Art’s-Way Manufacturing, we see it has a five year beta of 0.90. This is below 1, so historically its share price has been rather independent from the market. If history is a good guide, owning the stock should help ensure that your portfolio is not overly sensitive to market volatility. Beta is worth considering, but it’s also important to consider whether Art’s-Way Manufacturing is growing earnings and revenue. You can take a look for yourself, below.

NasdaqCM:ARTW Income Statement Export January 23rd 19

Could ARTW’s size cause it to be more volatile?

Art’s-Way Manufacturing is a noticeably small company, with a market capitalisation of US$8.7m. Most companies this size are not always actively traded. It is not unusual for very small companies to have a low beta value, especially if only low volumes of shares are traded. Even when they are traded more actively, the share price is often more susceptible to company specific developments than overall market volatility.

What this means for you:

The Art’s-Way Manufacturing doesn’t usually show much sensitivity to the broader market. This could be for a variety of reasons. Typically, smaller companies have a low beta if their share price tends to move a lot due to company specific developments. Alternatively, an strong dividend payer might move less than the market because investors are valuing it for its income stream. This article aims to educate investors about beta values, but it’s well worth looking at important company-specific fundamentals such as Art’s-Way Manufacturing’s financial health and performance track record. I highly recommend you dive deeper by considering the following:

  1. Financial Health: Are ARTW’s operations financially sustainable? Balance sheets can be hard to analyze, which is why we’ve done it for you. Check out our financial health checks here.
  2. Past Track Record: Has ARTW 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 ARTW’s historicals for more clarity.
  3. Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore our free list of these great stocks here.

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.