Anyone researching Subsea 7 S.A. (OB:SUBC) 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 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. A stock with a beta below one is either less volatile than the market, or more volatile but not corellated with the overall market. In comparison a stock with a beta of over one tends to be move in a similar direction to the market in the long term, but with greater changes in price.
What does SUBC's beta value mean to investors?
Given that it has a beta of 1.24, we can surmise that the Subsea 7 share price has been fairly sensitive to market volatility (over the last 5 years). Based on this history, investors should be aware that Subsea 7 are likely to rise strongly in times of greed, but sell off in times of fear. 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 Subsea 7 fares in that regard, below.
Could SUBC's size cause it to be more volatile?
Subsea 7 is a fairly large company. It has a market capitalisation of kr30b, which means it is probably on the radar of most investors. It takes deep pocketed investors to influence the share price of a large company, so it's a little unusual to see companies this size with high beta values. It may be that that this company is more heavily impacted by broader economic factors than most.
What this means for you:
Since Subsea 7 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 SUBC is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as Subsea 7’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 SUBC’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for SUBC’s outlook.
- Past Track Record: Has SUBC 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 SUBC's historicals for more clarity.
- Other Interesting Stocks: It's worth checking to see how SUBC measures up against other companies on valuation. You could start with this free list of prospective options.
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.
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