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One Thing To Consider Before Buying First Capital Sp.A. (BIT:FIC)

Declan Brown

If you are looking to invest in First Capital Sp.A.’s (BIT:FIC), 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. The beta measures FIC’s exposure to the wider market risk, which reflects changes in economic and political factors. Different characteristics of a stock expose it to various levels of market risk, and the market as a whole represents a beta value of one. Any stock with a beta of greater than one is considered more volatile than the market, and those with a beta less than one is generally less volatile.

View our latest analysis for First Capital

What is FIC’s market risk?

With a five-year beta of 0.13, First Capital appears to be a less volatile company compared to the rest of the market. This means the stock is more defensive against the ups and downs of a stock market, moving by less than the entire market index in times of change. FIC’s beta indicates it is a stock that investors may find valuable if they want to reduce the overall market risk exposure of their stock portfolio.

Could FIC’s size and industry cause it to be more volatile?

With a market cap of €36.14M, FIC falls within the small-cap spectrum of stocks, which are found to experience higher relative risk compared to larger companies. Moreover, FIC’s industry, capital markets, is considered to be cyclical, which means it is more volatile than the market over the economic cycle. As a result, we should expect a high beta for the small-cap FIC but a low beta for the capital markets industry. It seems as though there is an inconsistency in risks portrayed by FIC’s size and industry relative to its actual beta value. There may be a more fundamental driver which can explain this inconsistency, which we will examine below.

BIT:FIC Income Statement May 9th 18

Is FIC’s cost structure indicative of a high beta?

During times of economic downturn, low demand may cause companies to readjust production of their goods and services. It is more difficult for companies to lower their cost, if the majority of these costs are generated by fixed assets. Therefore, this is a type of risk which is associated with higher beta. I test FIC’s ratio of fixed assets to total assets in order to determine how high the risk is associated with this type of constraint. Considering fixed assets is virtually non-existent in FIC’s operations, it has low dependency on fixed costs to generate revenue. As a result, the company may be less volatile relative to broad market movements, compared to a company of similar size but higher proportion of fixed assets. Similarly, FIC’s beta value conveys the same message.

What this means for you:

You could benefit from lower risk during times of economic decline by holding onto FIC. Its low fixed cost also means that, in terms of operating leverage, it is relatively flexible during times of economic downturns. What I have not mentioned in my article here are important company-specific fundamentals such as First Capital’s financial health and performance track record. I highly recommend you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:

  1. Financial Health: Is FIC’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.
  2. Past Track Record: Has FIC 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 FIC’s historicals for more clarity.
  3. 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.