Anyone researching Netccentric Limited (ASX:NCL) 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 type is company specific volatility. Investors use diversification across uncorrelated stocks to reduce this kind of price volatility across the 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 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 does NCL's beta value mean to investors?
Looking at the last five years, Netccentric has a beta of 1.12. The fact that this is well above 1 indicates that its share price movements have shown sensitivity to overall market volatility. If the past is any guide, we would expect that Netccentric shares will rise quicker than the markets in times of optimism, but fall faster in times of pessimism. 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 Netccentric's revenue and earnings in the image below.
How does NCL's size impact its beta?
Netccentric is a rather small company. It has a market capitalisation of AU$1.6m, which means it is probably under the radar of most investors. It takes less money to influence the share price of a very small company. This may explain the excess volatility implied by this beta value.
What this means for you:
Since Netccentric has a reasonably high beta, it's worth considering why it is so heavily influenced by broader market sentiment. For example, it might be a high growth stock or have a lot of operating leverage in its business model. In order to fully understand whether NCL is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as Netccentric’s financial health and performance track record. I highly recommend you dive deeper by considering the following:
- Financial Health: Are NCL’s operations financially sustainable? Balance sheets can be hard to analyze, which is why we’ve done it for you. Check out our financial health checks here.
- Past Track Record: Has NCL 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 NCL's historicals for more clarity.
- Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore our free list of these great stocks here.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.