Does Buhler Industries Inc (TSE:BUI) Fall With The Market?

If you are looking to invest in Buhler Industries Inc’s (TSX:BUI), 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 BUI. 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 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 every stock is exposed to the same level of market risk. A widely-used metric to measure a stock’s market risk is beta, and the broad market index 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.

View our latest analysis for Buhler Industries

What is BUI’s market risk?

With a five-year beta of 0.28, Buhler Industries appears to be a less volatile company compared to the rest of the market. The stock will exhibit muted movements in both the downside and upside, in response to changing economic conditions, whereas the general market may move by a lot more. BUI’s beta implies it may be a stock that investors with high-beta portfolios might find relevant if they wanted to reduce their exposure to market risk, especially during times of downturns.

TSX:BUI Income Statement Apr 30th 18
TSX:BUI Income Statement Apr 30th 18

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

With a market cap of CA$102.50M, BUI falls within the small-cap spectrum of stocks, which are found to experience higher relative risk compared to larger companies. Moreover, BUI’s industry, machinery, is considered to be cyclical, which means it is more volatile than the market over the economic cycle. As a result, we should expect a high beta for the small-cap BUI but a low beta for the machinery industry. This is an interesting conclusion, since both BUI’s size and industry indicates the stock should have a higher beta than it currently has. There may be a more fundamental driver which can explain this inconsistency, which we will examine below.

Can BUI’s asset-composition point to a higher 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 examine BUI’s ratio of fixed assets to total assets to see whether the company is highly exposed to the risk of this type of constraint. BUI’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 BUI 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 BUI’s actual beta value suggests, which is lower stock volatility relative to the market.

What this means for you:

BUI may be a worthwhile stock to hold onto in order to cushion the impact of a downturn. Depending on the composition of your portfolio, low-beta stocks such as BUI is valuable to lower your risk of market exposure, in particular, during times of economic decline. In order to fully understand whether BUI is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as Buhler Industries’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 BUI’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 BUI 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 BUI’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.