If you're interested in Blackbaud, Inc. (NASDAQ:BLKB), 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. 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 type is company specific volatility. Investors use diversification across uncorrelated stocks to reduce this kind of price volatility across the portfolio. 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 are more sensitive to general market forces than others. Beta is a widely used metric to measure a stock's exposure to market risk (volatility). Before we go on, it's worth noting that Warren Buffett pointed out in his 2014 letter to shareholders that 'volatility is far from synonymous with risk.' Having said that, beta can still be rather useful. The first thing to understand about beta is 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.
What does BLKB's beta value mean to investors?
Given that it has a beta of 1.17, we can surmise that the Blackbaud share price has been fairly sensitive to market volatility (over the last 5 years). Based on this history, investors should be aware that Blackbaud are likely to rise strongly in times of greed, but sell off in times of fear. 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 Blackbaud fares in that regard, below.
How does BLKB's size impact its beta?
Blackbaud is a reasonably big company, with a market capitalisation of US$3.8b. Most companies this size are actively traded with decent volumes of shares changing hands each day. It takes deep pocketed investors to influence the share price of a large company, so it's a little unusual to see companies this size with high beta values. It may be that that this company is more heavily impacted by broader economic factors than most.
What this means for you:
Since Blackbaud has a reasonably high beta, it's worth considering why it is so heavily influenced by broader market sentiment. For example, it might be a high growth stock or have a lot of operating leverage in its business model. In order to fully understand whether BLKB is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as Blackbaud’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 BLKB’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for BLKB’s outlook.
- Past Track Record: Has BLKB 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 BLKB's historicals for more clarity.
- Other Interesting Stocks: It's worth checking to see how BLKB measures up against other companies on valuation. You could start with this free list of prospective options.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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.
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