Before You Buy Saul Centers, Inc. (NYSE:BFS), Consider Its Volatility

If you’re interested in Saul Centers, Inc. (NYSE:BFS), then you might want to consider its beta (a measure of share price volatility) in order to understand how the stock could impact your portfolio. 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 see their prices move in concert with the market. Others tend towards stronger, gentler or unrelated price movements. 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 Saul Centers

What we can learn from BFS’s beta value

Using history as a guide, we might surmise that the share price is likely to be influenced by market volatility going forward but it probably won’t be particularly sensitive to it. Share price volatility is well worth considering, but most long term investors consider the history of revenue and earnings growth to be more important. Take a look at how Saul Centers fares in that regard, below.

NYSE:BFS Income Statement, March 23rd 2020
NYSE:BFS Income Statement, March 23rd 2020

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

Saul Centers is a small company, but not tiny and little known. It has a market capitalisation of US$797m, which means it would be on the radar of intstitutional investors.

What this means for you:

It is probable that there is a link between the share price of Saul Centers and the broader market, since it has a beta value quite close to one. However, long term investors are generally well served by looking past market volatility and focussing on the underlying development of the business. If that’s your game, metrics such as revenue, earnings and cash flow will be more useful. In order to fully understand whether BFS is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as Saul Centers’s financial health and performance track record. I highly recommend you dive deeper by considering the following:

  1. Financial Health: Are BFS’s operations financially sustainable? Balance sheets can be hard to analyze, which is why we’ve done it for you. Check out our financial health checks here.
  2. Past Track Record: Has BFS 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 BFS’s historicals for more clarity.
  3. Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore our free list of these great stocks here.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Thank you for reading.