Does MRG Metals Ltd (ASX:MRQ) Fall With The Market?

If you are looking to invest in MRG Metals Ltd’s (ASX:MRQ), or currently own the stock, then you need to understand its beta in order to understand how it can affect the risk of your portfolio. There are two types of risks that affect the market value of a listed company such as MRQ. The first risk to think about is company-specific, which can be diversified away by investing in other companies in order to lower your exposure to one particular stock. 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 popular measure of market risk for a stock is its beta, and the market as a whole represents a beta value of one. A stock with a beta greater than one is considered more sensitive to market-wide shocks compared to a stock that trades below the value of one.

See our latest analysis for MRG Metals

What does MRQ’s beta value mean?

MRG Metals’s beta of 0.69 indicates that the company is less volatile relative to the diversified market portfolio. This means the stock is more defensive against the ups and downs of a stock market, moving by less than the entire market index in times of change. MRQ’s beta indicates it is a stock that investors may find valuable if they want to reduce the overall market risk exposure of their stock portfolio.

ASX:MRQ Income Statement May 11th 18
ASX:MRQ Income Statement May 11th 18

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

With a market cap of AU$8.01M, MRQ 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 metals and mining 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 metals and mining industry, relative to those more well-established firms in a more defensive industry. It seems as though there is an inconsistency in risks portrayed by MRQ’s size and industry relative to its actual beta value. A potential driver of this variance can be a fundamental factor, which we will take a look at next.

How MRQ’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 test MRQ’s ratio of fixed assets to total assets in order to determine how high the risk is associated with this type of constraint. MRQ’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 MRQ 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. However, this is the opposite to what MRQ’s actual beta value suggests, which is lower stock volatility relative to the market.

What this means for you:

You could benefit from lower risk during times of economic decline by holding onto MRQ. 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. Depending on the composition of your portfolio, MRQ may be a valuable stock to hold onto in order to cushion the impact of a downturn. What I have not mentioned in my article here are important company-specific fundamentals such as MRG Metals’s financial health and performance track record. I urge you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:

  1. Financial Health: Is MRQ’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 MRQ 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 MRQ’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.