thyssenkrupp AG (ETR:TKA): Risks You Need To Consider Before Buying

For thyssenkrupp AG’s (XTRA:TKA) shareholders, and also potential investors in the stock, understanding how the stock’s risk and return characteristics can impact your portfolio is important. There are two types of risks that affect the market value of a listed company such as TKA. The first type is company-specific risk, which can be diversified away by investing in other companies to reduce 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. 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.

View our latest analysis for thyssenkrupp

An interpretation of TKA’s beta

thyssenkrupp’s five-year beta of 1.46 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, TKA 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.

XTRA:TKA Income Statement May 21st 18
XTRA:TKA Income Statement May 21st 18

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

TKA has a market capitalization of €13.42B, putting it in the category of established companies, which are found to experience less relative risk compared to small-sized companies. But, TKA’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 can expect a low beta associated with the size of TKA, but a higher beta given the nature of the industry it operates in. This is an interesting conclusion, since its size suggests TKA should be less volatile than it actually is. There may be a more fundamental driver which can explain this inconsistency, which we will examine below.

Is TKA’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 TKA’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%, TKA 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 TKA 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 could benefit from higher returns from TKA during times of economic growth. Its higher fixed cost isn’t a major concern given margins are covered with high consumer demand. Though, in times of a downturn, it may be safe to look at a more defensive stock which can cushion the impact of lower demand. What I have not mentioned in my article here are important company-specific fundamentals such as thyssenkrupp’s financial health and performance track record. I highly recommend you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for TKA’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for TKA’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has TKA 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 TKA’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.