Anyone researching First Defiance Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:FDEF) might want to consider the historical volatility of the share price. 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 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. 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 does FDEF's beta value mean to investors?
As it happens, First Defiance Financial has a five year beta of 0.97. This is fairly close to 1, so the stock has historically shown a somewhat similar level of volatility as the market. If the future looks like the past, we could therefore consider it likely that the stock price will experience share price volatility that is roughly similar to the overall market. Beta is worth considering, but it's also important to consider whether First Defiance Financial is growing earnings and revenue. You can take a look for yourself, below.
Could FDEF's size cause it to be more volatile?
First Defiance Financial is a small company, but not tiny and little known. It has a market capitalisation of US$574m, which means it would be on the radar of intstitutional investors. Small companies often have a high beta value because the stock price can move on relatively low capital flows. So it's interesting to note that this stock historically has a beta value quite close to one.
What this means for you:
Since First Defiance Financial has a beta close to one, it will probably show a positive return when the market is moving up, based on history. If you're trying to generate better returns than the market, it would be worth thinking about other metrics such as cashflows, dividends and revenue growth might be a more useful guide to the future. In order to fully understand whether FDEF is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as First Defiance Financial’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 FDEF’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for FDEF’s outlook.
- Past Track Record: Has FDEF 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 FDEF's historicals for more clarity.
- Other Interesting Stocks: It's worth checking to see how FDEF measures up against other companies on valuation. You could start with this free list of prospective options.
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