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Super Retail Group Limited (ASX:SUL): What Does Its Beta Value Mean For Your Portfolio?

Simply Wall St

If you own shares in Super Retail Group Limited (ASX:SUL) then it's worth thinking about how it contributes to the volatility of your portfolio, overall. In finance, Beta is a measure of volatility. Modern finance theory considers volatility to be a measure of risk, and there are two main types of price volatility. First, we have company specific volatility, which is the price gyrations of an individual stock. Holding at least 8 stocks can reduce this kind of risk across a 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 mimic the volatility of the market quite closely, while others demonstrate muted, exagerrated or uncorrelated price movements. 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.

Check out our latest analysis for Super Retail Group

What does SUL's beta value mean to investors?

Looking at the last five years, Super Retail Group has a beta of 0.83. The fact that this is well below 1 indicates that its share price movements haven't historically been very sensitive to overall market volatility. This means that -- if history is a guide -- buying the stock would reduce the impact of overall market volatility in many portfolios (depending on the beta of the portfolio, of course). 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 Super Retail Group fares in that regard, below.

ASX:SUL Income Statement, October 2nd 2019

Does SUL's size influence the expected beta?

With a market capitalisation of AU$2.0b, Super Retail Group is a small cap stock. However, it is big enough to catch the attention of professional investors. Small companies can have a low beta value when company specific factors outweigh the influence of overall market volatility. That might be happening here.

What this means for you:

Since Super Retail Group is not heavily influenced by market moves, its share price is probably far more dependend on company specific developments. It could pay to take a closer look at metrics such as revenue growth, earnings growth, and debt. This article aims to educate investors about beta values, but it's well worth looking at important company-specific fundamentals such as Super Retail Group’s financial health and performance track record. I urge you to continue your research by taking a look at the following:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for SUL’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for SUL’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has SUL 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 SUL's historicals for more clarity.
  3. Other Interesting Stocks: It's worth checking to see how SUL 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 editorial-team@simplywallst.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.