If you own shares in Minerals Technologies Inc. (NYSE:MTX) 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 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 we can learn from MTX's beta value
Given that it has a beta of 1.83, we can surmise that the Minerals Technologies share price has been fairly sensitive to market volatility (over the last 5 years). If this beta value holds true in the future, Minerals Technologies shares are likely to rise more than the market when the market is going up, but fall faster when the market is going down. Beta is worth considering, but it's also important to consider whether Minerals Technologies is growing earnings and revenue. You can take a look for yourself, below.
Does MTX's size influence the expected beta?
Minerals Technologies is a small cap stock with a market capitalisation of US$1.9b. Most companies this size are actively traded. It's not particularly surprising that it has a higher beta than the overall market. That's because it takes less money to influence the share price of a smaller company, than a bigger company.
What this means for you:
Since Minerals Technologies has a reasonably high beta, it's worth considering why it is so heavily influenced by broader market sentiment. For example, it might be a high growth stock or have a lot of operating leverage in its business model. In order to fully understand whether MTX is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as Minerals Technologies’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 MTX’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for MTX’s outlook.
- Past Track Record: Has MTX 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 MTX's historicals for more clarity.
- Other Interesting Stocks: It's worth checking to see how MTX measures up against other companies on valuation. You could start with this free list of prospective options.
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.
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