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Does PAM Transportation Services Inc (NASDAQ:PTSI) Have A High Beta?

Anyone researching PAM Transportation Services Inc (NASDAQ:PTSI) might want to consider the historical volatility of the share price. Volatility is considered to be a measure of risk in modern finance theory. Investors may think of volatility as falling into two main categories. First, we have company specific volatility, which is the price gyrations of an individual stock. Holding at least 8 stocks can reduce this kind of risk across a 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.

View our latest analysis for P.A.M. Transportation Services

What we can learn from PTSI’s beta value

Zooming in on P.A.M. Transportation Services, we see it has a five year beta of 1.44. This is above 1, so historically its share price has been influenced by the broader volatility of the stock market the market. Based on this history, investors should be aware that P.A.M. Transportation Services are likely to rise strongly in times of greed, but sell off in times of fear. 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 P.A.M. Transportation Services’s revenue and earnings in the image below.

NasdaqGM:PTSI Income Statement Export November 26th 18

Does PTSI’s size influence the expected beta?

P.A.M. Transportation Services is a rather small company. It has a market capitalisation of US$324m, which means it is probably under the radar of most investors. Relatively few investors can influence the price of a smaller company, compared to a large company. This could explain the high beta value, in this case.

What this means for you:

Since P.A.M. Transportation Services 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 P.A.M. Transportation Services’s financial health and performance track record. I urge you to continue your research by taking a look at the following:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for PTSI’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for PTSI’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has PTSI 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 PTSI’s historicals for more clarity.
  3. Other Interesting Stocks: It’s worth checking to see how PTSI measures up against other companies on valuation. You could start with this free list of prospective options.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.