If you own shares in Owens-Illinois, Inc. (NYSE:OI) then it's worth thinking about how it contributes to the volatility of your portfolio, overall. In finance, Beta is a measure of volatility. 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 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.
What OI's beta value tells investors
Zooming in on Owens-Illinois, we see it has a five year beta of 1.52. This is above 1, so historically its share price has been influenced by the broader volatility of the stock market. If the past is any guide, we would expect that Owens-Illinois shares will rise quicker than the markets in times of optimism, but fall faster in times of pessimism. Beta is worth considering, but it's also important to consider whether Owens-Illinois is growing earnings and revenue. You can take a look for yourself, below.
Does OI's size influence the expected beta?
Owens-Illinois is a small cap stock with a market capitalisation of US$1.6b. Most companies this size are actively traded. It has a relatively high beta, which is not unusual among small-cap stocks. Because it takes less capital to move the share price of a smaller company, actively traded small-cap stocks often have a higher beta that a similar large-cap stock.
What this means for you:
Since Owens-Illinois has a reasonably high beta, it's worth considering why it is so heavily influenced by broader market sentiment. For example, it might be a high growth stock or have a lot of operating leverage in its business model. In order to fully understand whether OI is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as Owens-Illinois’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 OI’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for OI’s outlook.
- Past Track Record: Has OI 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 OI's historicals for more clarity.
- Other Interesting Stocks: It's worth checking to see how OI measures up against other companies on valuation. You could start with this free list of prospective options.
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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.