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Why You Need To Look At This Factor Before Buying AmpliPhi Biosciences Corporation (NYSEMKT:APHB)

Donald Bartholomew

Anyone researching AmpliPhi Biosciences Corporation (NYSEMKT:APHB) might want to consider the historical volatility of the share price. Volatility is considered to be a measure of risk in modern finance theory. Investors may think of volatility as falling into two main categories. The first type is company specific volatility. Investors use diversification across uncorrelated stocks to reduce this kind of price volatility across the portfolio. The second sort is caused by the natural volatility of markets, overall. For example, certain macroeconomic events will impact (virtually) all stocks on the market.

Some stocks are more sensitive to general market forces than others. Some investors use beta as a measure of how much a certain stock is impacted by market risk (volatility). While we should keep in mind that Warren Buffett has cautioned that ‘Volatility is far from synonymous with risk’, beta is still a useful factor to consider. To make good use of it you must first know 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.

See our latest analysis for AmpliPhi Biosciences

What does APHB’s beta value mean to investors?

Looking at the last five years, AmpliPhi Biosciences has a beta of 1.38. The fact that this is well above 1 indicates that its share price movements have shown sensitivity to overall market volatility. Based on this history, investors should be aware that AmpliPhi Biosciences are likely to rise strongly in times of greed, but sell off in times of fear. Many would argue that beta is useful in position sizing, but fundamental metrics such as revenue and earnings are more important overall. You can see AmpliPhi Biosciences’s revenue and earnings in the image below.

AMEX:APHB Income Statement Export September 7th 18

Does APHB’s size influence the expected beta?

With a market capitalisation of US$15.8m, AmpliPhi Biosciences is a very small company by global standards. It is quite likely to be unknown to most investors. It takes less money to influence the share price of a very small company. This may explain the excess volatility implied by this beta value.

What this means for you:

Since AmpliPhi Biosciences has a reasonably high beta, it’s worth considering why it is so heavily influenced by broader market sentiment. For example, it might be a high growth stock or have a lot of operating leverage in its business model. This article aims to educate investors about beta values, but it’s well worth looking at important company-specific fundamentals such as AmpliPhi Biosciences’s financial health and performance track record. I highly recommend you dive deeper by considering the following:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for APHB’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for APHB’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has APHB 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 APHB’s historicals for more clarity.
  3. Other Interesting Stocks: It’s worth checking to see how APHB measures up against other companies on valuation. You could start with this free list of prospective options.

To help readers see past 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. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.