If you're interested in First Business Financial Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:FBIZ), then you might want to consider its beta (a measure of share price volatility) in order to understand how the stock could impact your portfolio. Modern finance theory considers volatility to be a measure of risk, and there are two main types of price volatility. The first category is company specific volatility. This can be dealt with by limiting your exposure to any particular stock. 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 see their prices move in concert with the market. Others tend towards stronger, gentler or unrelated price movements. Beta is a widely used metric to measure a stock's exposure to market risk (volatility). Before we go on, it's worth noting that Warren Buffett pointed out in his 2014 letter to shareholders that 'volatility is far from synonymous with risk.' Having said that, beta can still be rather useful. The first thing to understand about beta is 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 does FBIZ's beta value mean to investors?
Zooming in on First Business Financial Services, we see it has a five year beta of 1.14. This is above 1, so historically its share price has been influenced by the broader volatility of the stock market. If the past is any guide, we would expect that First Business Financial Services shares will rise quicker than the markets in times of optimism, but fall faster in times of pessimism. Beta is worth considering, but it's also important to consider whether First Business Financial Services is growing earnings and revenue. You can take a look for yourself, below.
How does FBIZ's size impact its beta?
First Business Financial Services is a rather small company. It has a market capitalisation of US$141m, 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:
Beta only tells us that the First Business Financial Services share price is sensitive to broader market movements. This could indicate that it is a high growth company, or is heavily influenced by sentiment because it is speculative. Alternatively, it could have operating leverage in its business model. Ultimately, beta is an interesting metric, but there's plenty more to learn. In order to fully understand whether FBIZ is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as First Business Financial Services’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 FBIZ’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for FBIZ’s outlook.
Past Track Record: Has FBIZ 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 FBIZ's historicals for more clarity.
Other Interesting Stocks: It's worth checking to see how FBIZ measures up against other companies on valuation. You could start with this free list of prospective options.
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