Anyone researching New Pacific Metals Corp. (CVE:NUAG) 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 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 see their prices move in concert with the market. Others tend towards stronger, gentler or unrelated price movements. 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. Any stock with a beta of greater than one is considered more volatile than the market, while those with a beta below one are either less volatile or poorly correlated with the market.
What does NUAG's beta value mean to investors?
Looking at the last five years, New Pacific Metals has a beta of 1.96. The fact that this is well above 1 indicates that its share price movements have shown sensitivity to overall market volatility. If this beta value holds true in the future, New Pacific Metals shares are likely to rise more than the market when the market is going up, but fall faster when the market is going down. 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 New Pacific Metals's revenue and earnings in the image below.
Could NUAG's size cause it to be more volatile?
New Pacific Metals is a small cap stock with a market capitalisation of CA$720m. Most companies this size are actively traded. It has a relatively high beta, which is not unusual among small-cap stocks. Because it takes less capital to move the share price of a smaller company, actively traded small-cap stocks often have a higher beta that a similar large-cap stock.
What this means for you:
Since New Pacific Metals 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. This article aims to educate investors about beta values, but it's well worth looking at important company-specific fundamentals such as New Pacific Metals’s financial health and performance track record. I highly recommend you dive deeper by considering the following:
Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for NUAG’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for NUAG’s outlook.
Past Track Record: Has NUAG 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 NUAG's historicals for more clarity.
Other Interesting Stocks: It's worth checking to see how NUAG measures up against other companies on valuation. You could start with this free list of prospective options.
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.
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