If you're interested in BE Semiconductor Industries N.V. (AMS:BESI), then you might want to consider its beta (a measure of share price volatility) in order to understand how the stock could impact your portfolio. Modern finance theory considers volatility to be a measure of risk, and there are two main types of price volatility. The first type is company specific volatility. Investors use diversification across uncorrelated stocks to reduce this kind of price volatility across the portfolio. 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 are more sensitive to general market forces than others. 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 BESI's beta value
Given that it has a beta of 1.49, we can surmise that the BE Semiconductor Industries share price has been fairly sensitive to market volatility (over the last 5 years). If this beta value holds true in the future, BE Semiconductor Industries shares are likely to rise more than the market when the market is going up, but fall faster when the market is going down. 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 BE Semiconductor Industries fares in that regard, below.
Does BESI's size influence the expected beta?
BE Semiconductor Industries is a reasonably big company, with a market capitalisation of €2.4b. Most companies this size are actively traded with decent volumes of shares changing hands each day. It has a relatively high beta, suggesting it may be somehow leveraged to macroeconomic conditions. For example, it might be a high growth stock with lots of investors trading the shares. It's notable when large companies to have high beta values, because it usually takes substantial capital flows to move their share prices.
What this means for you:
Beta only tells us that the BE Semiconductor Industries 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 BESI is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as BE Semiconductor Industries’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 BESI’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for BESI’s outlook.
- Past Track Record: Has BESI 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 BESI's historicals for more clarity.
- Other Interesting Stocks: It's worth checking to see how BESI measures up against other companies on valuation. You could start with this free list of prospective options.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.