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How Should You Think About The9 Limited’s (NCTY) Risks?

Dale Lombardi

If you are looking to invest in The9 Limited’s (NASDAQ:NCTY), or currently own the stock, then you need to understand its beta in order to understand how it can affect the risk of your portfolio. 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. Different characteristics of a stock expose it to various levels 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 The9

An interpretation of NCTY’s beta

With a beta of 1.75, The9 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, NCTY will help diversify your portfolio, if it currently comprises of low-beta stocks. This will be beneficial for portfolio returns, in particular, when current market sentiment is positive.

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

With a market cap of USD $72.44M, NCTY falls within the small-cap spectrum of stocks, which are found to experience higher relative risk compared to larger companies. Furthermore, the company operates in the software industry, which has been found to have high sensitivity to market-wide shocks. Therefore, investors may expect high beta associated with small companies, as well as those operating in the software industry, relative to those more well-established firms in a more defensive industry. This is consistent with NCTY’s individual beta value we discussed above. Next, we will examine the fundamental factors which can cause cyclicality in the stock.

NasdaqGS:NCTY Income Statement Nov 18th 17

Is NCTY’s cost structure indicative of a high beta?

An asset-heavy company tends to have a higher beta because the risk associated with running fixed assets during a downturn is highly expensive. I test NCTY’s ratio of fixed assets to total assets in order to determine how high the risk is associated with this type of constraint. Since NCTY’s fixed assets are only 7.63% of its total assets, it doesn’t depend heavily on a high level of these rigid and costly assets to operate its business. Thus, we can expect NCTY to be more stable in the face of market movements, relative to its peers of similar size but with a higher portion of fixed assets on their books. However, this is the opposite to what NCTY’s actual beta value suggests, which is higher stock volatility relative to the market.

What this means for you:

Are you a shareholder? You may reap the gains of NCTY’s returns during times of economic growth by holding the stock. Its low fixed cost also implies that it has the flexibility to adjust its cost to preserve margins during times of a downturn. I recommend analysing the stock in terms of your current portfolio composition before deciding to invest more into NCTY. For next steps, take a look at NCTY’s outlook to see what analysts are expecting for the stock on our free analysis plaform here.

Are you a potential investor? I recommend that you look into NCTY’s fundamental factors such as its current valuation and financial health. Take into account your portfolio sensitivity to the market before you invest in the stock, as well as where we are in the current economic cycle. NCTY may be a great investment during times of economic growth. You can examine these factors in our free fundamental research report for NCTY 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.