How Should You Think About Oracle Energy Corp’s (TSXV:OEC) Risks?

If you are a shareholder in Oracle Energy Corp’s (TSXV:OEC), or are thinking about investing in the company, knowing how it contributes to the risk and reward profile of your portfolio is important. Broadly speaking, there are two types of risk you should consider when investing in stocks such as OEC. The first type is company-specific risk, which can be diversified away by investing in other companies to reduce exposure to one particular stock. The second type is market risk, one that you cannot diversify away, since it arises from macroeconomic factors which directly affects all the stocks in the market.

Different characteristics of a stock expose it to various levels of market risk. The most widely used metric to quantify a stock’s market risk is beta, and the market as a whole represents a beta 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 Oracle Energy

What is OEC’s market risk?

With a beta of 1.01, Oracle Energy 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, OEC 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:OEC Income Statement Nov 11th 17
TSXV:OEC Income Statement Nov 11th 17

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

With a market cap of CAD CA$937.50K, OEC falls within the small-cap spectrum of stocks, which are found to experience higher relative risk compared to larger companies. Furthermore, the company operates in the oil, gas and consumable fuels industry, which has been found to have high sensitivity to market-wide shocks. Therefore, investors may expect high beta associated with small companies, as well as those operating in the oil, gas and consumable fuels industry, relative to those more well-established firms in a more defensive industry. This supports our interpretation of OEC’s beta value discussed above. Next, we will examine the fundamental factors which can cause cyclicality in the stock.

Can OEC’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 test OEC’s ratio of fixed assets to total assets in order to determine how high the risk is associated with this type of constraint. Given that fixed assets make up an insignificant portion of total assets, OEC doesn’t rely heavily upon these expensive, inflexible assets to run its business during downturns. As a result, the company may be less volatile relative to broad market movements, compared to a company of similar size but higher proportion of fixed assets. This outcome contradicts OEC’s current beta value which indicates an above-average volatility.

What this means for you:

Are you a shareholder? You could benefit from higher returns during times of economic growth by holding onto OEC. Its low fixed cost also means that, in terms of operating leverage, it is relatively flexible during times of economic downturns. Consider the stock in terms of your other portfolio holdings, and whether it is worth investing more into OEC.

Are you a potential investor? I recommend that you look into OEC’s fundamental factors such as its current valuation and financial health. Take into account your portfolio sensitivity to the market before you invest in the stock, as well as where we are in the current economic cycle. OEC may be a great investment during times of economic growth.

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 Oracle Energy 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 Oracle Energy anymore, you can use our free platform to see my list of over 50 other stocks with a high growth potential.