If you own shares in EastGroup Properties, Inc. (NYSE:EGP) then it's worth thinking about how it contributes to the volatility of your portfolio, overall. In finance, Beta is a measure of volatility. 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 other type, which cannot be diversified away, is the volatility of the entire market. Every stock in the market is exposed to this volatility, which is linked to the fact that stocks prices are correlated in an efficient market.
Some stocks see their prices move in concert with the market. Others tend towards stronger, gentler or unrelated price movements. Some investors use beta as a measure of how much a certain stock is impacted by market risk (volatility). While we should keep in mind that Warren Buffett has cautioned that 'Volatility is far from synonymous with risk', beta is still a useful factor to consider. To make good use of it you must first know that the beta of the overall market is one. A stock with a beta greater than one is more sensitive to broader market movements than a stock with a beta of less than one.
What we can learn from EGP's beta value
Looking at the last five years, EastGroup Properties has a beta of 0.83. The fact that this is well below 1 indicates that its share price movements haven't historically been very sensitive to overall market volatility. If history is a good guide, owning the stock should help ensure that your portfolio is not overly sensitive to market volatility. 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 EastGroup Properties fares in that regard, below.
Does EGP's size influence the expected beta?
EastGroup Properties is a reasonably big company, with a market capitalisation of US$4.5b. Most companies this size are actively traded with decent volumes of shares changing hands each day. It is a little unusual to see big companies like this trade on low beta values. Oftentimes there is some other clear influence on the share price, overshadowing market volatility.
What this means for you:
The EastGroup Properties doesn't usually show much sensitivity to the broader market. This could be for a variety of reasons. Typically, smaller companies have a low beta if their share price tends to move a lot due to company specific developments. Alternatively, an strong dividend payer might move less than the market because investors are valuing it for its income stream. This article aims to educate investors about beta values, but it's well worth looking at important company-specific fundamentals such as EastGroup Properties’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 EGP’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for EGP’s outlook.
- Past Track Record: Has EGP 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 EGP's historicals for more clarity.
- Other Interesting Stocks: It's worth checking to see how EGP measures up against other companies on valuation. You could start with this free list of prospective options.
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