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Anyone researching Mannatech, Incorporated (NASDAQ:MTEX) might want to consider the historical volatility of the share price. Modern finance theory considers volatility to be a measure of risk, and there are two main types of price volatility. The first category is company specific volatility. This can be dealt with by limiting your exposure to any particular stock. 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 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 MTEX's beta value
Given that it has a beta of 1.53, we can surmise that the Mannatech share price has been fairly sensitive to market volatility (over the last 5 years). If the past is any guide, we would expect that Mannatech shares will rise quicker than the markets in times of optimism, but fall faster in times of pessimism. 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 Mannatech fares in that regard, below.
Could MTEX's size cause it to be more volatile?
With a market capitalisation of US$40m, Mannatech is a very small company by global standards. It is quite likely to be unknown to most investors. It has a relatively high beta, suggesting it is fairly actively traded for a company of its size. Because it takes less capital to move the share price of a small company like this, when a stock this size is actively traded it is quite often more sensitive to market volatility than similar large companies.
What this means for you:
Beta only tells us that the Mannatech share price is sensitive to broader market movements. This could indicate that it is a high growth company, or is heavily influenced by sentiment because it is speculative. Alternatively, it could have operating leverage in its business model. Ultimately, beta is an interesting metric, but there's plenty more to learn. In order to fully understand whether MTEX is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as Mannatech’s financial health and performance track record. I urge you to continue your research by taking a look at the following:
Financial Health: Are MTEX’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 MTEX 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 MTEX'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.
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 email@example.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.