If you are a shareholder in Aberdeen International Inc’s (TSE:AAB), or are thinking about investing in the company, knowing how it contributes to the risk and reward profile of your portfolio is important. There are two types of risks that affect the market value of a listed company such as AAB. The first risk to consider is company-specific, which can be diversified away when you invest in other companies in the same industry as AAB, because it is rare that an entire industry collapses at once. 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.
Not all stocks are expose 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. 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.
What does AAB’s beta value mean?
With a beta of 1.77, Aberdeen International is a stock that tends to see greater volatility than the market at large. Based on this beta value, AAB can help magnify your portfolio return, especially if it is predominantly made up of low-beta stocks. If the market is going up, a higher exposure to the upside from a high-beta stock can push up your portfolio return.
Could AAB’s size and industry cause it to be more volatile?
With a market cap of CA$11.53m, AAB falls within the small-cap spectrum of stocks, which are found to experience higher relative risk compared to larger companies. Moreover, AAB’s industry, capital markets, is considered to be cyclical, which means it is more volatile than the market over the economic cycle. So, investors should expect a larger beta for smaller companies operating in a cyclical industry in contrast with lower beta for larger firms in a more defensive industry. This supports our interpretation of AAB’s beta value discussed above.
How AAB’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 examine AAB’s ratio of fixed assets to total assets to see whether the company is highly exposed to the risk of this type of constraint. Given that fixed assets make up an insignificant portion of total assets, AAB doesn’t rely heavily upon these expensive, inflexible assets to run its business during downturns. Thus, we can expect AAB to be more stable in the face of market movements, relative to its peers of similar size but with a higher portion of fixed assets on their books. However, this is the opposite to what AAB’s actual beta value suggests, which is higher stock volatility relative to the market.
What this means for you:
You could benefit from higher returns during times of economic growth. However, in times of a downturn, it may be safe to look at a more defensive stock which can cushion the impact of lower demand. It’s always wise to take into account your portfolio sensitivity to the market before you invest in AAB, as well as where we are in the current economic cycle. What I have not mentioned in my article here are important company-specific fundamentals such as Aberdeen International’s financial health and performance track record. I highly recommend you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:
- Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for AAB’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for AAB’s outlook.
- Past Track Record: Has AAB 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 AAB’s historicals for more clarity.
- 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.
To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.
The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at email@example.com.