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Anyone researching Consumer Portfolio Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:CPSS) might want to consider the historical volatility of the share price. 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 see their prices move in concert with the market. Others tend towards stronger, gentler or unrelated price movements. 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 CPSS’s beta value tells investors
Zooming in on Consumer Portfolio Services, we see it has a five year beta of 1.49. This is above 1, so historically its share price has been influenced by the broader volatility of the stock market the market. Based on this history, investors should be aware that Consumer Portfolio Services are likely to rise strongly in times of greed, but sell off in times of fear. Beta is worth considering, but it’s also important to consider whether Consumer Portfolio Services is growing earnings and revenue. You can take a look for yourself, below.
How does CPSS’s size impact its beta?
With a market capitalisation of US$87m, Consumer Portfolio Services is a very small company by global standards. It is quite likely to be unknown to most investors. It takes less money to influence the share price of a very small company. This may explain the excess volatility implied by this beta value.
What this means for you:
Since Consumer Portfolio Services 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. This article aims to educate investors about beta values, but it’s well worth looking at important company-specific fundamentals such as Consumer Portfolio Services’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 CPSS’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for CPSS’s outlook.
- Past Track Record: Has CPSS 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 CPSS’s historicals for more clarity.
- Other Interesting Stocks: It’s worth checking to see how CPSS measures up against other companies on valuation. You could start with this free list of prospective options.
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 email@example.com.