Anyone researching ENGlobal Corporation (NASDAQ:ENG) 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. The first category is company specific volatility. This can be dealt with by limiting your exposure to any particular stock. 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 mimic the volatility of the market quite closely, while others demonstrate muted, exagerrated or uncorrelated price movements. 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 greater than one is more sensitive to broader market movements than a stock with a beta of less than one.
What ENG's beta value tells investors
Looking at the last five years, ENGlobal has a beta of 1.71. The fact that this is well above 1 indicates that its share price movements have shown sensitivity to overall market volatility. Based on this history, investors should be aware that ENGlobal 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 ENGlobal is growing earnings and revenue. You can take a look for yourself, below.
Could ENG's size cause it to be more volatile?
ENGlobal is a noticeably small company, with a market capitalisation of US$30m. Most companies this size are not always actively traded. Relatively few investors can influence the price of a smaller company, compared to a large company. This could explain the high beta value, in this case.
What this means for you:
Beta only tells us that the ENGlobal 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. This article aims to educate investors about beta values, but it's well worth looking at important company-specific fundamentals such as ENGlobal’s financial health and performance track record. I highly recommend you dive deeper by considering the following:
- Financial Health: Are ENG’s operations financially sustainable? Balance sheets can be hard to analyze, which is why we’ve done it for you. Check out our financial health checks here.
- Past Track Record: Has ENG 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 ENG's historicals for more clarity.
- Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore our free list of these great stocks here.
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.