Why You Need To Look At This Factor Before Buying Horus AG (BST:HRU)

If you are a shareholder in Horus AG’s (BST:HRU), 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 HRU. The first risk to consider is company-specific, which can be diversified away when you invest in other companies in the same industry as HRU, 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 every stock is exposed to the same level of market risk. A popular measure of market risk for a stock is its beta, and the market as a whole represents a beta value of one. A stock with a beta greater than one is expected to exhibit higher volatility resulting from market-wide shocks compared to one with a beta below one.

View our latest analysis for Horus

An interpretation of HRU’s beta

Horus’s beta of 0.28 indicates that the company is less volatile relative to the diversified market portfolio. This means the stock is more defensive against the ups and downs of a stock market, moving by less than the entire market index in times of change. HRU’s beta indicates it is a stock that investors may find valuable if they want to reduce the overall market risk exposure of their stock portfolio.

BST:HRU Income Statement Mar 28th 18
BST:HRU Income Statement Mar 28th 18

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

HRU, with its market capitalisation of €5.43M, is a small-cap stock, which generally have higher beta than similar companies of larger size. Moreover, HRU’s industry, capital markets, 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 capital markets industry, relative to those more well-established firms in a more defensive industry. This is an interesting conclusion, since both HRU’s size and industry indicates the stock should have a higher beta than it currently has.

Is HRU’s cost structure indicative of a high 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 HRU’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 HRU’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. Similarly, HRU’s beta value conveys the same message.

What this means for you:

You could benefit from lower risk during times of economic decline by holding onto HRU. Take into account your portfolio sensitivity to the market before you invest in the stock, as well as where we are in the current economic cycle. Depending on the composition of your portfolio, HRU may be a valuable stock to hold onto in order to cushion the impact of a downturn. In order to fully understand whether HRU is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as Horus’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 HRU’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 HRU 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 HRU’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.