If you own shares in Compass Minerals International, Inc. (NYSE:CMP) then it’s worth thinking about how it contributes to the volatility of your portfolio, overall. In finance, Beta is a measure of volatility. Modern finance theory considers volatility to be a measure of risk, and there are two main types of price volatility. First, we have company specific volatility, which is the price gyrations of an individual stock. Holding at least 8 stocks can reduce this kind of risk across a 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. 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.
What we can learn from CMP’s beta value
Looking at the last five years, Compass Minerals International has a beta of 1.35. The fact that this is well above 1 indicates that its share price movements have shown sensitivity to overall market volatility. If the past is any guide, we would expect that Compass Minerals International shares will rise quicker than the markets in times of optimism, but fall faster in times of pessimism. Beta is worth considering, but it’s also important to consider whether Compass Minerals International is growing earnings and revenue. You can take a look for yourself, below.
How does CMP’s size impact its beta?
Compass Minerals International is a small company, but not tiny and little known. It has a market capitalisation of US$1.8b, which means it would be on the radar of intstitutional investors. It’s not particularly surprising that it has a higher beta than the overall market. That’s because it takes less money to influence the share price of a smaller company, than a bigger company.
What this means for you:
Since Compass Minerals International tends to moves up when the market is going up, and down when it’s going down, potential investors may wish to reflect on the overall market, when considering the stock. This article aims to educate investors about beta values, but it’s well worth looking at important company-specific fundamentals such as Compass Minerals International’s financial health and performance track record. I urge you to continue your research by taking a look at the following:
- Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for CMP’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for CMP’s outlook.
- Past Track Record: Has CMP 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 CMP’s historicals for more clarity.
- Other Interesting Stocks: It’s worth checking to see how CMP measures up against other companies on valuation. You could start with this free list of prospective options.
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.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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. Thank you for reading.