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What You Must Know About PFSweb, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:PFSW) Beta Value

Simply Wall St

If you're interested in PFSweb, Inc. (NASDAQ:PFSW), then you might want to consider its beta (a measure of share price volatility) in order to understand how the stock could impact your portfolio. 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 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 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.

See our latest analysis for PFSweb

What does PFSW's beta value mean to investors?

PFSweb has a five-year beta of 0.93. 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. 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 PFSweb fares in that regard, below.

NasdaqCM:PFSW Income Statement, October 15th 2019

Does PFSW's size influence the expected beta?

With a market capitalisation of US$51m, PFSweb is a very small company by global standards. It is quite likely to be unknown to most investors. It doesn't take much money to really move the share price of a company as small as this one. That makes it somewhat unusual that it has a beta value so close to the overall market.

What this means for you:

It is probable that there is a link between the share price of PFSweb and the broader market, since it has a beta value quite close to one. However, long term investors are generally well served by looking past market volatility and focussing on the underlying development of the business. If that's your game, metrics such as revenue, earnings and cash flow will be more useful. This article aims to educate investors about beta values, but it's well worth looking at important company-specific fundamentals such as PFSweb’s financial health and performance track record. I urge you to continue your research by taking a look at the following:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for PFSW’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for PFSW’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has PFSW 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 PFSW's historicals for more clarity.
  3. Other Interesting Stocks: It's worth checking to see how PFSW 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.