medical columbus AG (FRA:MCE): Risks You Need To Consider Before Buying

If you are looking to invest in medical columbus AG’s (DB:MCE), 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. There are two types of risks that affect the market value of a listed company such as MCE. 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.

Not every stock is exposed 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 expected to exhibit higher volatility resulting from market-wide shocks compared to one with a beta below one.

Check out our latest analysis for medical columbus

An interpretation of MCE’s beta

medical columbus’s beta of 0.16 indicates that the stock value will be less variable compared to the whole stock market. 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. MCE’s beta implies it may be a stock that investors with high-beta portfolios might find relevant if they wanted to reduce their exposure to market risk, especially during times of downturns.

DB:MCE Income Statement Apr 26th 18
DB:MCE Income Statement Apr 26th 18

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

A market capitalisation of €7.02M puts MCE in the category of small-cap stocks, which tends to possess higher beta than larger companies. But, MCE’s industry, healthcare services, is considered to be defensive, which means it is less volatile than the market over the economic cycle. Therefore, investors can expect a high beta associated with the size of MCE, but a lower beta given the nature of the industry it operates in. It seems as though there is an inconsistency in risks from MCE’s size and industry. There may be a more fundamental driver which can explain this inconsistency, which we will examine below.

How MCE’s assets could affect its 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 test MCE’s ratio of fixed assets to total assets in order to determine how high the risk is associated with this type of constraint. Considering fixed assets account for less than a third of the company’s overall assets, MCE seems to have a smaller 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, MCE’s beta value conveys the same message.

What this means for you:

You may reap the benefit of muted movements during times of economic decline by holding onto MCE. Its low fixed cost also means that, in terms of operating leverage, its costs are relatively malleable to preserve margins. What I have not mentioned in my article here are important company-specific fundamentals such as medical columbus’s financial health and performance track record. I highly recommend you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:

  1. Financial Health: Is MCE’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 MCE 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 MCE’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.