Anyone researching Hydrogenics Corporation (NASDAQ:HYGS) might want to consider the historical volatility of the share price. Modern finance theory considers volatility to be a measure of risk, and there are two main types of price volatility. First, we have company specific volatility, which is the price gyrations of an individual stock. Holding at least 8 stocks can reduce this kind of risk across a portfolio. The second sort is caused by the natural volatility of markets, overall. For example, certain macroeconomic events will impact (virtually) all stocks on the market.
Some stocks mimic the volatility of the market quite closely, while others demonstrate muted, exagerrated or uncorrelated 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 HYGS's beta value tells investors
Looking at the last five years, Hydrogenics has a beta of 0.86. The fact that this is well below 1 indicates that its share price movements haven't historically been very sensitive to overall market volatility. This suggests that including it in your portfolio will reduce volatility arising from broader market movements, assuming your portfolio's weighted average beta is higher than 0.86. Share price volatility is well worth considering, but most long term investors consider the history of revenue and earnings growth to be more important. Take a look at how Hydrogenics fares in that regard, below.
How does HYGS's size impact its beta?
Hydrogenics is a rather small company. It has a market capitalisation of US$151m, which means it is probably under the radar of most investors. Companies with market capitalisations around this size often show poor correlation with the broader market because market volatility is overshadowed by company specific events, or other factors. It's worth checking to see how often shares are traded, because very small companies with very low beta values are often only thinly traded.
What this means for you:
The Hydrogenics doesn't usually show much sensitivity to the broader market. This could be for a variety of reasons. Typically, smaller companies have a low beta if their share price tends to move a lot due to company specific developments. Alternatively, an strong dividend payer might move less than the market because investors are valuing it for its income stream. In order to fully understand whether HYGS is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as Hydrogenics’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 HYGS’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for HYGS’s outlook.
- Past Track Record: Has HYGS 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 HYGS's historicals for more clarity.
- Other Interesting Stocks: It's worth checking to see how HYGS measures up against other companies on valuation. You could start with this free list of prospective options.
We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.