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What Kind Of Risk Should You Expect For Arbutus Biopharma Corporation (NASDAQ:ABUS)?

If you’re interested in Arbutus Biopharma Corporation (NASDAQ:ABUS), 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. Volatility is considered to be a measure of risk in modern finance theory. Investors may think of volatility as falling into two main categories. The first type is company specific volatility. Investors use diversification across uncorrelated stocks to reduce this kind of price volatility across the 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 Arbutus Biopharma

What ABUS’s beta value tells investors

As it happens, Arbutus Biopharma has a five year beta of 1. This is fairly close to 1, so the stock has historically shown a somewhat similar level of volatility as the market. If the future looks like the past, we could therefore consider it likely that the stock price will experience share price volatility that is roughly similar to the overall market. Beta is worth considering, but it’s also important to consider whether Arbutus Biopharma is growing earnings and revenue. You can take a look for yourself, below.

NasdaqGS:ABUS Income Statement Export October 17th 18

How does ABUS’s size impact its beta?

Arbutus Biopharma is a noticeably small company, with a market capitalisation of US$258m. Most companies this size are not always actively traded. It doesn’t take much money to really move the share price of a company as small as this one. That makes it somewhat unusual that it has a beta value so close to the overall market.

What this means for you:

It is probable that there is a link between the share price of Arbutus Biopharma and the broader market, since it has a beta value quite close to one. However, long term investors are generally well served by looking past market volatility and focussing on the underlying development of the business. If that’s your game, metrics such as revenue, earnings and cash flow will be more useful. In order to fully understand whether ABUS is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as Arbutus Biopharma’s financial health and performance track record. I highly recommend you dive deeper by considering the following:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for ABUS’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for ABUS’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has ABUS 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 ABUS’s historicals for more clarity.
  3. Other Interesting Stocks: It’s worth checking to see how ABUS 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.