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Anyone researching Designer Brands Inc. (NYSE:DBI) 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 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 we can learn from DBI's beta value
Zooming in on Designer Brands, we see it has a five year beta of 1.25. 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 Designer Brands 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 Designer Brands is growing earnings and revenue. You can take a look for yourself, below.
Could DBI's size cause it to be more volatile?
Designer Brands is a small company, but not tiny and little known. It has a market capitalisation of US$1.3b, which means it would be on the radar of intstitutional investors. It is quite common to see a small-cap stock with a beta greater than one. In part, that's because relatively few investors can influence the price of a smaller company, compared to a large company.
What this means for you:
Since Designer Brands 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 DBI is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as Designer Brands’s financial health and performance track record. I highly recommend you dive deeper by considering the following:
- Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for DBI’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for DBI’s outlook.
- Past Track Record: Has DBI 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 DBI's historicals for more clarity.
- Other Interesting Stocks: It's worth checking to see how DBI 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 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. Thank you for reading.