If you own shares in SeaChange International, Inc. (NASDAQ:SEAC) 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 category is company specific volatility. This can be dealt with by limiting your exposure to any particular stock. 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 are more sensitive to general market forces than others. 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. 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 we can learn from SEAC's beta value
Looking at the last five years, SeaChange International has a beta of 0.90. The fact that this is well below 1 indicates that its share price movements haven't historically been very sensitive to overall market volatility. This suggests that including it in your portfolio will reduce volatility arising from broader market movements, assuming your portfolio's weighted average beta is higher than 0.90. Share price volatility is well worth considering, but most long term investors consider the history of revenue and earnings growth to be more important. Take a look at how SeaChange International fares in that regard, below.
Does SEAC's size influence the expected beta?
SeaChange International is a noticeably small company, with a market capitalisation of US$66m. Most companies this size are not always actively traded. Very small companies often have a low beta value because their share prices are not well correlated with market volatility. This could be because the price is reacting to company specific events. Alternatively, the shares may not be actively traded.
What this means for you:
One potential advantage of owning low beta stocks like SeaChange International is that your overall portfolio won't be too sensitive to overall market movements. However, this can be a blessing or a curse, depending on what's happening in the broader market. This article aims to educate investors about beta values, but it's well worth looking at important company-specific fundamentals such as SeaChange International’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 SEAC’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for SEAC’s outlook.
Past Track Record: Has SEAC 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 SEAC's historicals for more clarity.
Other Interesting Stocks: It's worth checking to see how SEAC 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 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.