Anyone researching IsoRay, Inc. (NYSEMKT:ISR) might want to consider the historical volatility of the share price. 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 category is company specific volatility. This can be dealt with by limiting your exposure to any particular stock. 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 mimic the volatility of the market quite closely, while others demonstrate muted, exagerrated or uncorrelated price movements. Beta can be a useful tool to understand how much a stock is influenced by market risk (volatility). However, Warren Buffett said 'volatility is far from synonymous with risk' in his 2014 letter to investors. So, while useful, beta is not the only metric to consider. To use beta as an investor, you must first understand that the overall market has a beta of 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 we can learn from ISR's beta value
Given that it has a beta of 1.95, we can surmise that the IsoRay share price has been fairly sensitive to market volatility (over the last 5 years). If this beta value holds true in the future, IsoRay 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 IsoRay is growing earnings and revenue. You can take a look for yourself, below.
Could ISR's size cause it to be more volatile?
IsoRay is a rather small company. It has a market capitalisation of US$47m, which means it is probably under the radar of most investors. It takes less money to influence the share price of a very small company. This may explain the excess volatility implied by this beta value.
What this means for you:
Since IsoRay tends to moves up when the market is going up, and down when it's going down, potential investors may wish to reflect on the overall market, when considering the stock. In order to fully understand whether ISR is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as IsoRay’s financial health and performance track record. I urge you to continue your research by taking a look at the following:
- Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for ISR’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for ISR’s outlook.
- Past Track Record: Has ISR 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 ISR's historicals for more clarity.
- Other Interesting Stocks: It's worth checking to see how ISR measures up against other companies on valuation. You could start with this free list of prospective options.
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