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Littelfuse, Inc. (NASDAQ:LFUS): What Does Its Beta Value Mean For Your Portfolio?

Simply Wall St

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Anyone researching Littelfuse, Inc. (NASDAQ:LFUS) 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. The first category is company specific volatility. This can be dealt with by limiting your exposure to any particular stock. The other type, which cannot be diversified away, is the volatility of the entire market. Every stock in the market is exposed to this volatility, which is linked to the fact that stocks prices are correlated in an efficient market.

Some stocks mimic the volatility of the market quite closely, while others demonstrate muted, exagerrated or uncorrelated price movements. 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 Littelfuse

What we can learn from LFUS's beta value

Littelfuse has a five-year beta of 0.94. 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. While history does not always repeat, this may indicate that the stock price will continue to be exposed to market risk, albeit not overly so. 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 Littelfuse fares in that regard, below.

NasdaqGS:LFUS Income Statement, May 7th 2019

How does LFUS's size impact its beta?

Littelfuse is a fairly large company. It has a market capitalisation of US$4.7b, which means it is probably on the radar of most investors. It's not overly surprising to see large companies with beta values reasonably close to the market average. After all, large companies make up a higher weighting of the index than do small companies.

What this means for you:

Littelfuse has a beta value quite close to that of the overall market. That doesn't tell us much on its own, so it is probably worth considering whether the company is growing, if you're looking for stocks that will go up more than the overall market. This article aims to educate investors about beta values, but it's well worth looking at important company-specific fundamentals such as Littelfuse’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 LFUS’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for LFUS’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has LFUS 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 LFUS's historicals for more clarity.
  3. Other Interesting Stocks: It's worth checking to see how LFUS 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.