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How Does Xunlei Limited (NASDAQ:XNET) Affect Your Portfolio Returns?

Cameron Brookes

If you are looking to invest in Xunlei Limited’s (NASDAQ:XNET), or currently own the stock, then you need to understand its beta in order to understand how it can affect the risk of your portfolio. The beta measures XNET’s exposure to the wider market risk, which reflects changes in economic and political factors. Different characteristics of a stock expose it to various levels of market risk, and the broad market index represents a beta value of one. A stock with a beta greater than one is expected to exhibit higher volatility resulting from market-wide shocks compared to one with a beta below one.

See our latest analysis for Xunlei

What does XNET’s beta value mean?

Xunlei’s five-year beta of 1.5 means that the company’s value will swing up by more than the market during prosperous times, but also drop down by more in times of downturns. This level of volatility indicates bigger risk for investors who passively invest in the stock market index. According to this value of beta, XNET will help diversify your portfolio, if it currently comprises of low-beta stocks. This will be beneficial for portfolio returns, in particular, when current market sentiment is positive.

Could XNET’s size and industry cause it to be more volatile?

A market capitalisation of US$931.58M puts XNET in the category of small-cap stocks, which tends to possess higher beta than larger companies. Moreover, XNET’s industry, internet, is considered to be cyclical, which means it is more volatile than the market over the economic cycle. So, investors should expect a larger beta for smaller companies operating in a cyclical industry in contrast with lower beta for larger firms in a more defensive industry. This is consistent with XNET’s individual beta value we discussed above. Next, we will examine the fundamental factors which can cause cyclicality in the stock.

NasdaqGS:XNET Income Statement Mar 15th 18

Can XNET’s asset-composition point to a higher beta?

An asset-heavy company tends to have a higher beta because the risk associated with running fixed assets during a downturn is highly expensive. I test XNET’s ratio of fixed assets to total assets in order to determine how high the risk is associated with this type of constraint. Considering fixed assets account for less than a third of the company’s overall assets, XNET seems to have a smaller dependency on fixed costs to generate revenue. Thus, we can expect XNET to be more stable in the face of market movements, relative to its peers of similar size but with a higher portion of fixed assets on their books. This outcome contradicts XNET’s current beta value which indicates an above-average volatility.

What this means for you:

You could benefit from higher returns during times of economic growth by holding onto XNET. Its low fixed cost also means that, in terms of operating leverage, it is relatively flexible during times of economic downturns. In order to fully understand whether XNET is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as Xunlei’s financial health and performance track record. I highly recommend you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:

  1. Financial Health: Is XNET’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.
  2. Past Track Record: Has XNET 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 XNET’s historicals for more clarity.
  3. 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.


To help readers see pass 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.