Anyone researching Caleres, Inc. (NYSE:CAL) might want to consider the historical volatility of the share price. Modern finance theory considers volatility to be a measure of risk, and there are two main types of price volatility. 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 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 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. 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 we can learn from CAL's beta value
With a beta of 0.94, (which is quite close to 1) the share price of Caleres has historically been about as voltile as the broader market. While history does not always repeat, this may indicate that the stock price will continue to be exposed to market risk, albeit not overly so. Beta is worth considering, but it's also important to consider whether Caleres is growing earnings and revenue. You can take a look for yourself, below.
How does CAL's size impact its beta?
With a market capitalisation of US$630m, Caleres is a small cap stock. However, it is big enough to catch the attention of professional investors. 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:
It is probable that there is a link between the share price of Caleres and the broader market, since it has a beta value quite close to one. However, long term investors are generally well served by looking past market volatility and focussing on the underlying development of the business. If that's your game, metrics such as revenue, earnings and cash flow will be more useful. This article aims to educate investors about beta values, but it's well worth looking at important company-specific fundamentals such as Caleres’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 CAL’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for CAL’s outlook.
- Past Track Record: Has CAL 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 CAL's historicals for more clarity.
- Other Interesting Stocks: It's worth checking to see how CAL 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.