Anyone researching Milestone Scientific Inc. (NYSEMKT:MLSS) might want to consider the historical volatility of the share price. 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 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 does MLSS's beta value mean to investors?
Using history as a guide, we might surmise that the share price is likely to be influenced by market volatility going forward but it probably won't be particularly sensitive to it. Beta is worth considering, but it's also important to consider whether Milestone Scientific is growing earnings and revenue. You can take a look for yourself, below.
Does MLSS's size influence the expected beta?
Milestone Scientific is a rather small company. It has a market capitalisation of US$88m, which means it is probably under the radar of most investors. It doesn't take much money to really move the share price of a company as small as this one. That makes it somewhat unusual that it has a beta value so close to the overall market.
What this means for you:
It is probable that there is a link between the share price of Milestone Scientific and the broader market, since it has a beta value quite close to one. However, long term investors are generally well served by looking past market volatility and focussing on the underlying development of the business. If that's your game, metrics such as revenue, earnings and cash flow will be more useful. This article aims to educate investors about beta values, but it's well worth looking at important company-specific fundamentals such as Milestone Scientific’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 MLSS’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for MLSS’s outlook.
- Past Track Record: Has MLSS 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 MLSS's historicals for more clarity.
- Other Interesting Stocks: It's worth checking to see how MLSS measures up against other companies on valuation. You could start with this free list of prospective options.
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