If you own shares in Heidrick & Struggles International, Inc. (NASDAQ:HSII) 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. 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. Beta can be a useful tool to understand how much a stock is influenced by market risk (volatility). However, Warren Buffett said 'volatility is far from synonymous with risk' in his 2014 letter to investors. So, while useful, beta is not the only metric to consider. To use beta as an investor, you must first understand that the overall market has a beta of 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 HSII's beta value
Looking at the last five years, Heidrick & Struggles International has a beta of 1.33. 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 Heidrick & Struggles International 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 Heidrick & Struggles International is growing earnings and revenue. You can take a look for yourself, below.
How does HSII's size impact its beta?
With a market capitalisation of US$553m, Heidrick & Struggles International is a small cap stock. However, it is big enough to catch the attention of professional investors. It's not particularly surprising that it has a higher beta than the overall market. That's because it takes less money to influence the share price of a smaller company, than a bigger company.
What this means for you:
Since Heidrick & Struggles International 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 Heidrick & Struggles International’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 HSII’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for HSII’s outlook.
- Past Track Record: Has HSII 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 HSII's historicals for more clarity.
- Other Interesting Stocks: It's worth checking to see how HSII measures up against other companies on valuation. You could start with this free list of prospective options.
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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. Thank you for reading.