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Why You Need To Look At This Factor Before Buying Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc (NYSE:LL)

Anyone researching Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc (NYSE:LL) 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 category is company specific volatility. This can be dealt with by limiting your exposure to any particular stock. The second type is the broader market volatility, which you cannot diversify away, since it arises from macroeconomic factors which directly affects all the stocks on the market.

Some stocks are more sensitive to general market forces than others. 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 Lumber Liquidators Holdings

What does LL’s beta value mean to investors?

Given that it has a beta of 1.36, we can surmise that the Lumber Liquidators Holdings share price has been fairly sensitive to market volatility (over the last 5 years). If this beta value holds true in the future, Lumber Liquidators Holdings shares are likely to rise more than the market when the market is going up, but fall faster when the market is going down. Beta is worth considering, but it’s also important to consider whether Lumber Liquidators Holdings is growing earnings and revenue. You can take a look for yourself, below.

NYSE:LL Income Statement Export October 17th 18

Could LL’s size cause it to be more volatile?

With a market capitalisation of US$384m, Lumber Liquidators Holdings is a very small company by global standards. It is quite likely to be unknown to most investors. Relatively few investors can influence the price of a smaller company, compared to a large company. This could explain the high beta value, in this case.

What this means for you:

Beta only tells us that the Lumber Liquidators Holdings share price is sensitive to broader market movements. This could indicate that it is a high growth company, or is heavily influenced by sentiment because it is speculative. Alternatively, it could have operating leverage in its business model. Ultimately, beta is an interesting metric, but there’s plenty more to learn. In order to fully understand whether LL is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as Lumber Liquidators Holdings’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 LL’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for LL’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has LL 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 LL’s historicals for more clarity.
  3. Other Interesting Stocks: It’s worth checking to see how LL 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.