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Should You Be Holding Severn Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:SVBI) Right Now?

Laura Kearns

If you are a shareholder in Severn Bancorp Inc’s (NASDAQ:SVBI), or are thinking about investing in the company, knowing how it contributes to the risk and reward profile of your portfolio is important. The beta measures SVBI’s exposure to the wider market risk, which reflects changes in economic and political factors. Not every stock is exposed to the same level of market risk, and the market as a whole represents a beta value of one. Any stock with a beta of greater than one is considered more volatile than the market, and those with a beta less than one is generally less volatile.

View our latest analysis for Severn Bancorp

What is SVBI’s market risk?

With a five-year beta of 0.88, Severn Bancorp appears to be a less volatile company compared to the rest of the market. This means the stock is more defensive against the ups and downs of a stock market, moving by less than the entire market index in times of change. Based on this beta value, SVBI appears to be a stock that an investor with a high-beta portfolio would look for to reduce risk exposure to the market.

Does SVBI’s size and industry impact the expected beta?

With a market cap of USD $97.35M, SVBI falls within the small-cap spectrum of stocks, which are found to experience higher relative risk compared to larger companies. Moreover, SVBI’s industry, mortgage, 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 mortgage industry, relative to those more well-established firms in a more defensive industry. This is an interesting conclusion, since both SVBI’s size and industry indicates the stock should have a higher beta than it currently has. A potential driver of this variance can be a fundamental factor, which we will take a look at next.

NasdaqCM:SVBI Income Statement Jan 25th 18

How SVBI’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 test SVBI’s ratio of fixed assets to total assets in order to determine how high the risk is associated with this type of constraint. Given that fixed assets make up less than a third of the company’s total assets, SVBI doesn’t rely heavily upon these expensive, inflexible assets to run its business during downturns. Thus, we can expect SVBI 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 is consistent with is current beta value which also indicates low volatility.

What this means for you:

You could benefit from lower risk during times of economic decline by holding onto SVBI. Its low fixed cost also means that, in terms of operating leverage, it is relatively flexible during times of economic downturns. What I have not mentioned in my article here are important company-specific fundamentals such as Severn Bancorp’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 SVBI’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 SVBI 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 SVBI’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.