One Thing To Consider Before Buying Atlatsa Resources Corporation (TSE:ATL)

If you are looking to invest in Atlatsa Resources Corporation’s (TSX:ATL), 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. Generally, an investor should consider two types of risk that impact the market value of ATL. 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 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. 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. 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 Atlatsa Resources

An interpretation of ATL’s beta

Atlatsa Resources has a beta of 1.77, which means that the percentage change in its stock value will be higher than the entire market in times of booms and busts. A high level of beta means investors face higher risk associated with potential gains and losses driven by market movements. According to this value of beta, ATL 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:ATL Income Statement May 2nd 18
TSX:ATL Income Statement May 2nd 18

Does ATL’s size and industry impact the expected beta?

ATL, with its market capitalisation of CA$24.75M, is a small-cap stock, which generally have higher beta than similar companies of larger size. Moreover, ATL’s industry, metals and mining, is considered to be cyclical, which means it is more volatile than the market over the economic cycle. 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. This is consistent with ATL’s individual beta value we discussed above. Next, we will examine the fundamental factors which can cause cyclicality in the stock.

Is ATL’s cost structure indicative of a high 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 examine ATL’s ratio of fixed assets to total assets to see whether the company is highly exposed to the risk of this type of constraint. With a fixed-assets-to-total-assets ratio of greater than 30%, ATL appears to be a company that invests a large amount of capital in assets that are hard to scale down on short-notice. Thus, we can expect ATL 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 ATL’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. What I have not mentioned in my article here are important company-specific fundamentals such as Atlatsa Resources’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 ATL’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 ATL 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 ATL’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.