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How Does China Maple Leaf Educational Systems Limited (HKG:1317) Affect Your Portfolio Volatility?

Simply Wall St

If you're interested in China Maple Leaf Educational Systems Limited (HKG:1317), 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. 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 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 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.

View our latest analysis for China Maple Leaf Educational Systems

What does 1317's beta value mean to investors?

Zooming in on China Maple Leaf Educational Systems, we see it has a five year beta of 1.19. This is above 1, so historically its share price has been influenced by the broader volatility of the stock market. Based on this history, investors should be aware that China Maple Leaf Educational Systems are likely to rise strongly in times of greed, but sell off in times of fear. Many would argue that beta is useful in position sizing, but fundamental metrics such as revenue and earnings are more important overall. You can see China Maple Leaf Educational Systems's revenue and earnings in the image below.

SEHK:1317 Income Statement, December 1st 2019

Does 1317's size influence the expected beta?

China Maple Leaf Educational Systems is a small company, but not tiny and little known. It has a market capitalisation of HK$8.2b, which means it would be on the radar of intstitutional investors. It has a relatively high beta, which is not unusual among small-cap stocks. Because it takes less capital to move the share price of a smaller company, actively traded small-cap stocks often have a higher beta that a similar large-cap stock.

What this means for you:

Beta only tells us that the China Maple Leaf Educational Systems share price is sensitive to broader market movements. This could indicate that it is a high growth company, or is heavily influenced by sentiment because it is speculative. Alternatively, it could have operating leverage in its business model. Ultimately, beta is an interesting metric, but there's plenty more to learn. In order to fully understand whether 1317 is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as China Maple Leaf Educational Systems’s financial health and performance track record. I highly recommend you dive deeper by considering the following:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for 1317’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for 1317’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has 1317 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 1317's historicals for more clarity.
  3. Other Interesting Stocks: It's worth checking to see how 1317 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 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.

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. Thank you for reading.