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If you own shares in OZ Minerals Limited (ASX:OZL) then it's worth thinking about how it contributes to the volatility of your portfolio, overall. In finance, Beta is a measure of volatility. 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 second type is the broader market volatility, which you cannot diversify away, since it arises from macroeconomic factors which directly affects all the stocks on the market.
Some stocks are more sensitive to general market forces than others. Some investors use beta as a measure of how much a certain stock is impacted by market risk (volatility). While we should keep in mind that Warren Buffett has cautioned that 'Volatility is far from synonymous with risk', beta is still a useful factor to consider. To make good use of it you must first know that the beta of the overall market is 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 OZL's beta value
Given that it has a beta of 0.89, we can surmise that the OZ Minerals 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 0.89. Beta is worth considering, but it's also important to consider whether OZ Minerals is growing earnings and revenue. You can take a look for yourself, below.
Could OZL's size cause it to be more volatile?
OZ Minerals is a reasonably big company, with a market capitalisation of AU$3.2b. Most companies this size are actively traded with decent volumes of shares changing hands each day. When large companies like this one have a low beta value, there is usually some other factor that is having an outsized impact on the share price. For example, a business with significant fixed regulated assets might earn a reasonably predictable return, regardless of broader macroeconomic factors. Alternatively, lumpy earnings might mean minimal share price correlation with the broader market.
What this means for you:
The OZ Minerals doesn't usually show much sensitivity to the broader market. This could be for a variety of reasons. Typically, smaller companies have a low beta if their share price tends to move a lot due to company specific developments. Alternatively, an strong dividend payer might move less than the market because investors are valuing it for its income stream. In order to fully understand whether OZL is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as OZ Minerals’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 OZL’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for OZL’s outlook.
- Past Track Record: Has OZL 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 OZL's historicals for more clarity.
- Other Interesting Stocks: It's worth checking to see how OZL 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.