Should You Have Cequence Energy Ltd’s (TSE:CQE) In Your Portfolio?

For Cequence Energy Ltd’s (TSX:CQE) shareholders, and also potential investors in the stock, understanding how the stock’s risk and return characteristics can impact your portfolio is important. Broadly speaking, there are two types of risk you should consider when investing in stocks such as CQE. 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. 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.

See our latest analysis for Cequence Energy

What does CQE’s beta value mean?

Cequence Energy’s five-year beta of 3.24 means that the company’s value will swing up by more than the market during prosperous times, but also drop down by more in times of downturns. This level of volatility indicates bigger risk for investors who passively invest in the stock market index. Based on this beta value, CQE 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.

TSX:CQE Income Statement Mar 29th 18
TSX:CQE Income Statement Mar 29th 18

Could CQE’s size and industry cause it to be more volatile?

With a market cap of CA$9.82M, CQE falls within the small-cap spectrum of stocks, which are found to experience higher relative risk compared to larger companies. In addition to size, CQE also operates in the oil and gas industry, which has commonly demonstrated strong reactions to market-wide shocks. Therefore, investors may expect high beta associated with small companies, as well as those operating in the oil and gas industry, relative to those more well-established firms in a more defensive industry. This is consistent with CQE’s individual beta value we discussed above. Fundamental factors can also drive the cyclicality of the stock, which we will take a look at next.

Can CQE’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 CQE’s ratio of fixed assets to total assets to see whether the company is highly exposed to the risk of this type of constraint. CQE’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 CQE 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. This is consistent with is current beta value which also indicates high volatility.

What this means for you:

You may reap the gains of CQE’s returns in times of an economic boom. Though the business does have higher fixed cost than what is considered safe, during times of growth, consumer demand may be high enough to not warrant immediate concerns. However, during a downturn, a more defensive stock can cushion the impact of this risk. In order to fully understand whether CQE is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as Cequence Energy’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 CQE’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 CQE 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 CQE’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.

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