If you own shares in Essential Energy Services Ltd. (TSE:ESN) then it's worth thinking about how it contributes to the volatility of your portfolio, overall. In finance, Beta is a measure of volatility. 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 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 are more sensitive to general market forces than others. 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. Any stock with a beta of greater than one is considered more volatile than the market, while those with a beta below one are either less volatile or poorly correlated with the market.
What ESN's beta value tells investors
Given that it has a beta of 1.80, we can surmise that the Essential Energy Services share price has been fairly sensitive to market volatility (over the last 5 years). If the past is any guide, we would expect that Essential Energy Services shares will rise quicker than the markets in times of optimism, but fall faster in times of pessimism. 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 Essential Energy Services's revenue and earnings in the image below.
How does ESN's size impact its beta?
Essential Energy Services is a rather small company. It has a market capitalisation of CA$54m, which means it is probably under the radar of 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 Essential Energy 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 Essential Energy Services’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 ESN’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for ESN’s outlook.
- Past Track Record: Has ESN 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 ESN's historicals for more clarity.
- Other Interesting Stocks: It's worth checking to see how ESN 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 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.
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