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Should You Be Holding Aemetis Inc (NASDAQ:AMTX) Right Now?

Donald Bartholomew

If you are looking to invest in Aemetis Inc’s (NASDAQ:AMTX), 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. Every stock in the market is exposed to market risk, which arises from macroeconomic factors such as economic growth and geo-political tussles just to name a few. This is measured by its beta. Not all stocks are expose to the same level 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 Aemetis

What does AMTX’s beta value mean?

Aemetis’s five-year beta of 1.44 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. Based on this beta value, AMTX 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.

How does AMTX’s size and industry impact its risk?

A market capitalisation of USD $14.07M puts AMTX in the category of small-cap stocks, which tends to possess higher beta than larger companies. Moreover, AMTX’s industry, oil and gas, is considered to be cyclical, which means it is more volatile than the market over the economic cycle. Therefore, investors may expect high beta associated with small companies, as well as those operating in the oil and gas industry, relative to those more well-established firms in a more defensive industry. This supports our interpretation of AMTX’s beta value discussed above. Fundamental factors can also drive the cyclicality of the stock, which we will take a look at next.

NasdaqGM:AMTX Income Statement Jan 31st 18

How AMTX’s assets could affect its beta

During times of economic downturn, low demand may cause companies to readjust production of their goods and services. It is more difficult for companies to lower their cost, if the majority of these costs are generated by fixed assets. Therefore, this is a type of risk which is associated with higher beta. I examine AMTX’s ratio of fixed assets to total assets to see whether the company is highly exposed to the risk of this type of constraint. Given a fixed to total assets ratio of over 30%, AMTX seems to be a company which invests a big chunk of its capital on assets that cannot be scaled down on short-notice. Thus, we can expect AMTX to be more volatile in the face of market movements, relative to its peers of similar size but with a lower proportion of fixed assets on their books. This is consistent with is current beta value which also indicates high volatility.

What this means for you:

You could benefit from higher returns from AMTX during times of economic growth. Its higher fixed cost isn’t a major concern given margins are covered with high consumer demand. Though, in times of a downturn, it may be safe to look at a more defensive stock which can cushion the impact of lower demand. In order to fully understand whether AMTX is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as Aemetis’s financial health and performance track record. I highly recommend you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:


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.