If you own shares in Minerals Technologies Inc. (NYSE:MTX) then it’s worth thinking about how it contributes to the volatility of your portfolio, overall. In finance, Beta is a measure of volatility. 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 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 can be a useful tool to understand how much a stock is influenced by market risk (volatility). However, Warren Buffett said ‘volatility is far from synonymous with risk’ in his 2014 letter to investors. So, while useful, beta is not the only metric to consider. To use beta as an investor, you must first understand that the overall market has a beta of one. Any stock with a beta of greater than one is considered more volatile than the market, while those with a beta below one are either less volatile or poorly correlated with the market.
What MTX’s beta value tells investors
Given that it has a beta of 1.83, we can surmise that the Minerals Technologies share price has been fairly sensitive to market volatility (over the last 5 years). If this beta value holds true in the future, Minerals Technologies 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 Minerals Technologies is growing earnings and revenue. You can take a look for yourself, below.
Does MTX’s size influence the expected beta?
Minerals Technologies is a small cap stock with a market capitalisation of US$2.0b. Most companies this size are actively traded. It has a relatively high beta, which is not unusual among small-cap stocks. Because it takes less capital to move the share price of a smaller company, actively traded small-cap stocks often have a higher beta that a similar large-cap stock.
What this means for you:
Since Minerals Technologies has a reasonably high beta, it’s worth considering why it is so heavily influenced by broader market sentiment. For example, it might be a high growth stock or have a lot of operating leverage in its business model. In order to fully understand whether MTX is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as Minerals Technologies’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 MTX’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for MTX’s outlook.
- Past Track Record: Has MTX 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 MTX’s historicals for more clarity.
- Other Interesting Stocks: It’s worth checking to see how MTX measures up against other companies on valuation. You could start with this free list of prospective options.
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.
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