What Are The Drivers Of Sino-German United AG’s (FRA:SGU) Risks?

If you are a shareholder in Sino-German United AG’s (DB:SGU), or are thinking about investing in the company, knowing how it contributes to the risk and reward profile of your portfolio is important. Generally, an investor should consider two types of risk that impact the market value of SGU. 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 risk is market-wide, which arises from investing in the stock market. This risk reflects changes in economic and political factors that affects all stocks.

Different characteristics of a stock expose it to various levels 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.

Check out our latest analysis for Sino-German United

An interpretation of SGU’s beta

Sino-German United has a beta of 1.29, 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, SGU will help diversify your portfolio, if it currently comprises of low-beta stocks. This will be beneficial for portfolio returns, in particular, when current market sentiment is positive.

DB:SGU Income Statement Mar 21st 18
DB:SGU Income Statement Mar 21st 18

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

SGU, with its market capitalisation of €1.81M, is a small-cap stock, which generally have higher beta than similar companies of larger size. Moreover, SGU’s industry, trade distributors, is considered to be cyclical, which means it is more volatile than the market over the economic cycle. As a result, we should expect higher beta for small-cap stocks in a cyclical industry compared to larger stocks in a defensive industry. This supports our interpretation of SGU’s beta value discussed above. Next, we will examine the fundamental factors which can cause cyclicality in the stock.

How SGU’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 SGU’s ratio of fixed assets to total assets to see whether the company is highly exposed to the risk of this type of constraint. Considering fixed assets is virtually non-existent in SGU’s operations, it has low dependency on fixed costs to generate revenue. As a result, the company may be less volatile relative to broad market movements, compared to a company of similar size but higher proportion of fixed assets. This outcome contradicts SGU’s current beta value which indicates an above-average volatility.

What this means for you:

You could benefit from higher returns during times of economic growth by holding onto SGU. Its low fixed cost also means that, in terms of operating leverage, it is relatively flexible during times of economic downturns. What I have not mentioned in my article here are important company-specific fundamentals such as Sino-German United’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 SGU’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. 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.