What Kind Of Risk And Return Should You Expect For Grande West Transportation Group Inc (TSXV:BUS)?

For Grande West Transportation Group Inc’s (TSXV:BUS) shareholders, and also potential investors in the stock, understanding how the stock’s risk and return characteristics can impact your portfolio is important. There are two types of risks that affect the market value of a listed company such as BUS. The first risk to consider is company-specific, which can be diversified away when you invest in other companies in the same industry as BUS, because it is rare that an entire industry collapses at once. The other type of risk, which cannot be diversified away, is market risk. Every stock in the market is exposed to this risk, which arises from macroeconomic factors such as economic growth and geo-political tussles just to name a few.

Not all stocks are expose to the same level of market risk. A widely-used metric to measure a stock’s market risk is beta, 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.

Check out our latest analysis for Grande West Transportation Group

What does BUS’s beta value mean?

Grande West Transportation Group has a beta of 2.37, which means that the percentage change in its stock value will be higher than the entire market in times of booms and busts. A high level of beta means investors face higher risk associated with potential gains and losses driven by market movements. According to this value of beta, BUS may be a stock for investors with a portfolio mainly made up of low-beta stocks. This is because during times of bullish sentiment, you can reap more of the upside with high-beta stocks compared to muted movements of low-beta holdings.

TSXV:BUS Income Statement Sep 14th 17
TSXV:BUS Income Statement Sep 14th 17

How does BUS’s size and industry impact its risk?

With a market cap of CAD $180.33M, BUS falls within the small-cap spectrum of stocks, which are found to experience higher relative risk compared to larger companies. In addition to size, BUS also operates in the capital goods industry, which has commonly demonstrated strong reactions to market-wide shocks. As a result, we should expect higher beta for small-cap stocks in a cyclical industry compared to larger stocks in a defensive industry. This supports our interpretation of BUS’s beta value discussed above. Next, we will examine the fundamental factors which can cause cyclicality in the stock.

How BUS’s assets could affect its 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 examine BUS’s ratio of fixed assets to total assets to see whether the company is highly exposed to the risk of this type of constraint. BUS’s fixed assets to total assets ratio of higher than 30% shows that the company uses up a big chunk of its capital on assets that are hard to scale up or down in short notice. Thus, we can expect BUS to be more volatile in the face of market movements, relative to its peers of similar size but with a lower proportion of fixed assets on their books. This is consistent with is current beta value which also indicates high volatility.

What this means for you:

Are you a shareholder? You could benefit from higher returns from BUS during times of economic growth. Its higher fixed cost isn’t a major concern given margins are covered with high consumer demand. However, in times of a downturn, it may be safe to look at a more defensive stock which can cushion the impact of lower demand.

Are you a potential investor? Before you buy BUS, you should factor how your portfolio currently moves with the wider market, and where we are in the economic cycle. This stock could be an outperformer during times of growth, and it may be worth taking a deeper dive into the fundamentals to crystalize your thoughts on BUS.

Beta is one aspect of your portfolio construction to consider when holding or entering into a stock. But it is certainly not the only factor. Take a look at our most recent infographic report on Grande West Transportation Group for a more in-depth analysis of the stock to help you make a well-informed investment decision. But if you are not interested in Grande West Transportation Group anymore, you can use our free platform to see my list of over 50 other stocks with a high growth potential.