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Is Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ:KTOS) A Volatile Stock?

Simply Wall St

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If you own shares in Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ:KTOS) then it's worth thinking about how it contributes to the volatility of your portfolio, overall. In finance, Beta is a measure of volatility. 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. 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. A stock with a beta below one is either less volatile than the market, or more volatile but not corellated with the overall market. In comparison a stock with a beta of over one tends to be move in a similar direction to the market in the long term, but with greater changes in price.

See our latest analysis for Kratos Defense & Security Solutions

What KTOS's beta value tells investors

Given that it has a beta of 1.31, we can surmise that the Kratos Defense & Security Solutions share price has been fairly sensitive to market volatility (over the last 5 years). Based on this history, investors should be aware that Kratos Defense & Security Solutions are likely to rise strongly in times of greed, but sell off in times of fear. 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 Kratos Defense & Security Solutions's revenue and earnings in the image below.

NasdaqGS:KTOS Income Statement, July 2nd 2019

How does KTOS's size impact its beta?

Kratos Defense & Security Solutions is a fairly large company. It has a market capitalisation of US$2.4b, which means it is probably on the radar of most investors. It takes a lot of money to influence the share price of large companies like this one. That makes it interesting to note that its share price has a history of sensitivity to market volatility. There might be some aspect of the business that means profits are leveraged to the economic cycle.

What this means for you:

Since Kratos Defense & Security Solutions tends to moves up when the market is going up, and down when it's going down, potential investors may wish to reflect on the overall market, when considering the stock. This article aims to educate investors about beta values, but it's well worth looking at important company-specific fundamentals such as Kratos Defense & Security Solutions’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 KTOS’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for KTOS’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has KTOS 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 KTOS's historicals for more clarity.
  3. Other Interesting Stocks: It's worth checking to see how KTOS 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 editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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.