If you're interested in Lansen Pharmaceutical Holdings Limited (HKG:503), then you might want to consider its beta (a measure of share price volatility) in order to understand how the stock could impact your portfolio. Modern finance theory considers volatility to be a measure of risk, and there are two main types of price volatility. The first category is company specific volatility. This can be dealt with by limiting your exposure to any particular stock. 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. 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 below one is either less volatile than the market, or more volatile but not corellated with the overall market. In comparison a stock with a beta of over one tends to be move in a similar direction to the market in the long term, but with greater changes in price.
What we can learn from 503's beta value
Given that it has a beta of 0.86, we can surmise that the Lansen Pharmaceutical Holdings share price has not been strongly impacted by broader market volatility (over the last 5 years). 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 0.86. 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 Lansen Pharmaceutical Holdings's revenue and earnings in the image below.
Could 503's size cause it to be more volatile?
Lansen Pharmaceutical Holdings is a noticeably small company, with a market capitalisation of HK$359m. Most companies this size are not always actively traded. Companies with market capitalisations around this size often show poor correlation with the broader market because market volatility is overshadowed by company specific events, or other factors. It's worth checking to see how often shares are traded, because very small companies with very low beta values are often only thinly traded.
What this means for you:
One potential advantage of owning low beta stocks like Lansen Pharmaceutical Holdings 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 Lansen Pharmaceutical Holdings’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 503’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for 503’s outlook.
- Past Track Record: Has 503 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 503's historicals for more clarity.
- Other Interesting Stocks: It's worth checking to see how 503 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.