Anyone researching MDC Partners Inc. (NASDAQ:MDCA) might want to consider the historical volatility of the share price. Volatility is considered to be a measure of risk in modern finance theory. Investors may think of volatility as falling into two main categories. 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 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. Beta can be a useful tool to understand how much a stock is influenced by market risk (volatility). However, Warren Buffett said ‘volatility is far from synonymous with risk’ in his 2014 letter to investors. So, while useful, beta is not the only metric to consider. To use beta as an investor, you must first understand that the overall market has a beta of one. Any stock with a beta of greater than one is considered more volatile than the market, while those with a beta below one are either less volatile or poorly correlated with the market.
Want to help shape the future of investing tools and platforms? Take the survey and be part of one of the most advanced studies of stock market investors to date.
What MDCA’s beta value tells investors
MDC Partners has a five-year beta of 0.92. This is reasonably close to the market beta of 1, so the stock has in the past displayed similar levels of volatility to the overall market. Using history as a guide, we might surmise that the share price is likely to be influenced by market voltility going forward but it probably won’t be particularly sensitive to it. Many would argue that beta is useful in position sizing, but fundamental metrics such as revenue and earnings are more important overall. You can see MDC Partners’s revenue and earnings in the image below.
How does MDCA’s size impact its beta?
With a market capitalisation of US$168m, MDC Partners is a very small company by global standards. It is quite likely to be unknown to most investors. Companies this small are usually more volatile than the market, whether or not that volatility is correlated. Therefore, it’s a bit surprising to see that this stock has a beta value so close to the overall market.
What this means for you:
Since MDC Partners has a beta close to one, it will probably show a positive return when the market is moving up, based on history. If you’re trying to generate better returns than the market, it would be worth thinking about other metrics such as cashflows, dividends and revenue growth might be a more useful guide to the future. In order to fully understand whether MDCA is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as MDC Partners’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 MDCA’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for MDCA’s outlook.
- Past Track Record: Has MDCA 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 MDCA’s historicals for more clarity.
- Other Interesting Stocks: It’s worth checking to see how MDCA 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 email@example.com.