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How Should You Think About Sphere 3D Corp’s (NASDAQ:ANY) Risks?

For Sphere 3D Corp’s (NASDAQ:ANY) shareholders, and also potential investors in the stock, understanding how the stock’s risk and return characteristics can impact your portfolio is important. Every stock in the market is exposed to market risk, which arises from macroeconomic factors such as economic growth and geo-political tussles just to name a few. This is measured by its beta. Not every stock is exposed to the same level of market risk, and the broad market index represents a beta value of one. A stock with a beta greater than one is expected to exhibit higher volatility resulting from market-wide shocks compared to one with a beta below one.

View our latest analysis for Sphere 3D

What does ANY’s beta value mean?

With a beta of 3.34, Sphere 3D is a stock that tends to experience more gains than the market during a growth phase and also a bigger reduction in value compared to the market during a broad downturn. According to this value of beta, ANY can help magnify your portfolio return, especially if it is predominantly made up of low-beta stocks. If the market is going up, a higher exposure to the upside from a high-beta stock can push up your portfolio return.

Does ANY’s size and industry impact the expected beta?

ANY, with its market capitalisation of US$8.02M, is a small-cap stock, which generally have higher beta than similar companies of larger size. In addition to size, ANY also operates in the software industry, which has commonly demonstrated strong reactions to market-wide shocks. So, investors should expect a larger beta for smaller companies operating in a cyclical industry in contrast with lower beta for larger firms in a more defensive industry. This supports our interpretation of ANY’s beta value discussed above. Next, we will examine the fundamental factors which can cause cyclicality in the stock.

NasdaqCM:ANY Income Statement May 24th 18
NasdaqCM:ANY Income Statement May 24th 18

Can ANY’s asset-composition point to a higher beta?

During times of economic downturn, low demand may cause companies to readjust production of their goods and services. It is more difficult for companies to lower their cost, if the majority of these costs are generated by fixed assets. Therefore, this is a type of risk which is associated with higher beta. I test ANY’s ratio of fixed assets to total assets in order to determine how high the risk is associated with this type of constraint. Given that fixed assets make up less than a third of the company’s total assets, ANY doesn’t rely heavily upon these expensive, inflexible assets to run its business during downturns. As a result, the company may be less volatile relative to broad market movements, compared to a company of similar size but higher proportion of fixed assets. This outcome contradicts ANY’s current beta value which indicates an above-average volatility.

What this means for you:

You could benefit from higher returns during times of economic growth by holding onto ANY. Its low fixed cost also means that, in terms of operating leverage, it is relatively flexible during times of economic downturns. What I have not mentioned in my article here are important company-specific fundamentals such as Sphere 3D’s financial health and performance track record. I urge you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:

  1. Financial Health: Is ANY’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.

  2. Past Track Record: Has ANY 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 ANY’s historicals for more clarity.

  3. 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.


To help readers see pass the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned.