If you own shares in HNI Corporation (NYSE:HNI) 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 second sort is caused by the natural volatility of markets, overall. For example, certain macroeconomic events will impact (virtually) all 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 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. 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 we can learn from HNI’s beta value
Zooming in on HNI, we see it has a five year beta of 1.29. 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 HNI are likely to rise strongly in times of greed, but sell off in times of fear. 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 HNI’s revenue and earnings in the image below.
How does HNI’s size impact its beta?
With a market capitalisation of US$1.7b, HNI is a small cap stock. However, it is big enough to catch the attention of professional investors. It has a relatively high beta, which is not unusual among small-cap stocks. Because it takes less capital to move the share price of a smaller company, actively traded small-cap stocks often have a higher beta that a similar large-cap stock.
What this means for you:
Since HNI 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 HNI’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 HNI’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for HNI’s outlook.
- Past Track Record: Has HNI 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 HNI’s historicals for more clarity.
- Other Interesting Stocks: It’s worth checking to see how HNI 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 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.