If you are looking to invest in Euro Tech Holdings Company Limited’s (NASDAQ:CLWT), or currently own the stock, then you need to understand its beta in order to understand how it can affect the risk of your portfolio. Every stock in the market is exposed to market risk, which arises from macroeconomic factors such as economic growth and geo-political tussles just to name a few. This is measured by its beta. Different characteristics of a stock expose it to various levels of market risk, and the broad market index represents a beta value of one. A stock with a beta greater than one is expected to exhibit higher volatility resulting from market-wide shocks compared to one with a beta below one.
An interpretation of CLWT’s beta
Euro Tech Holdings has a beta of 1.11, which means that the percentage change in its stock value will be higher than the entire market in times of booms and busts. A high level of beta means investors face higher risk associated with potential gains and losses driven by market movements. Based on this beta value, CLWT may be a stock for investors with a portfolio mainly made up of low-beta stocks. This is because during times of bullish sentiment, you can reap more of the upside with high-beta stocks compared to muted movements of low-beta holdings.
How does CLWT’s size and industry impact its risk?
CLWT, with its market capitalisation of US$5.98M, is a small-cap stock, which generally have higher beta than similar companies of larger size. In addition to size, CLWT also operates in the trade distributors industry, which has commonly demonstrated strong reactions to market-wide shocks. So, investors should expect a larger beta for smaller companies operating in a cyclical industry in contrast with lower beta for larger firms in a more defensive industry. This supports our interpretation of CLWT’s beta value discussed above. Fundamental factors can also drive the cyclicality of the stock, which we will take a look at next.
Can CLWT’s asset-composition point to a higher beta?
An asset-heavy company tends to have a higher beta because the risk associated with running fixed assets during a downturn is highly expensive. I examine CLWT’s ratio of fixed assets to total assets to see whether the company is highly exposed to the risk of this type of constraint. Given that fixed assets make up less than a third of the company’s total assets, CLWT doesn’t rely heavily upon these expensive, inflexible assets to run its business during downturns. Thus, we can expect CLWT to be more stable in the face of market movements, relative to its peers of similar size but with a higher portion of fixed assets on their books. This outcome contradicts CLWT’s current beta value which indicates an above-average volatility.
What this means for you:
You could benefit from higher returns during times of economic growth by holding onto CLWT. Its low fixed cost also means that, in terms of operating leverage, it is relatively flexible during times of economic downturns. In order to fully understand whether CLWT is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as Euro Tech Holdings’s financial health and performance track record. I highly recommend you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:
- Financial Health: Is CLWT’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 CLWT 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 CLWT’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.
To help readers see pass the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price sensitive company announcements.
The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned.