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Why You Need To Look At This Factor Before Buying ParkerVision Inc (NASDAQ:PRKR)

David Owens

If you are a shareholder in ParkerVision Inc’s (NASDAQ:PRKR), or are thinking about investing in the company, knowing how it contributes to the risk and reward profile of your portfolio is important. PRKR is exposed to market-wide risk, which arises from investing in the stock market. This risk reflects changes in economic and political factors that affects all stocks, and 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. Any stock with a beta of greater than one is considered more volatile than the market, and those with a beta less than one is generally less volatile.

Check out our latest analysis for ParkerVision

An interpretation of PRKR’s beta

With a beta of 1.85, ParkerVision 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, PRKR 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.

Could PRKR’s size and industry cause it to be more volatile?

PRKR, with its market capitalisation of USD $20.48M, is a small-cap stock, which generally have higher beta than similar companies of larger size. Moreover, PRKR’s industry, communications, is considered to be cyclical, which means it is more volatile than the market over the economic cycle. 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 PRKR’s beta value discussed above. Fundamental factors can also drive the cyclicality of the stock, which we will take a look at next.

NasdaqCM:PRKR Income Statement Feb 5th 18

Can PRKR’s asset-composition point to a higher 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 examine PRKR’s ratio of fixed assets to total assets to see whether the company is highly exposed to the risk of this type of constraint. Given that fixed assets make up less than a third of the company’s total assets, PRKR doesn’t rely heavily upon these expensive, inflexible assets to run its business during downturns. Thus, we can expect PRKR 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. This outcome contradicts PRKR’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 PRKR. 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 ParkerVision’s financial health and performance track record. I urge you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:


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.