Anyone researching MidWestOne Financial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:MOFG) 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. The first type is company specific volatility. Investors use diversification across uncorrelated stocks to reduce this kind of price volatility across the portfolio. 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 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. 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.
What does MOFG’s beta value mean to investors?
As it happens, MidWestOne Financial Group has a five year beta of 1.08. This is fairly close to 1, so the stock has historically shown a somewhat similar level of volatility as the 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 MidWestOne Financial Group’s revenue and earnings in the image below.
Could MOFG’s size cause it to be more volatile?
With a market capitalisation of US$365m, MidWestOne Financial Group 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:
MidWestOne Financial Group 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. In order to fully understand whether MOFG is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as MidWestOne Financial Group’s financial health and performance track record. I urge you to continue your research by taking a look at the following:
- Financial Health: Are MOFG’s operations financially sustainable? Balance sheets can be hard to analyze, which is why we’ve done it for you. Check out our financial health checks here.
- Past Track Record: Has MOFG 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 MOFG’s historicals for more clarity.
- Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore our free list of these great stocks here.
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If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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.