One Thing To Consider Before Buying African Battery Metals Plc (LON:ABM)

If you are looking to invest in African Battery Metals Plc’s (AIM:ABM), 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. Broadly speaking, there are two types of risk you should consider when investing in stocks such as ABM. 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 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 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.

Check out our latest analysis for African Battery Metals

What does ABM’s beta value mean?

African Battery Metals’s beta of 0.02 indicates that the stock value will be less variable compared to the whole stock market. This means that the change in ABM’s value, whether it goes up or down, will be of a smaller degree than the change in value of the entire stock market index. ABM’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.

AIM:ABM Income Statement Apr 24th 18
AIM:ABM Income Statement Apr 24th 18

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

ABM, with its market capitalisation of UK£2.90M, is a small-cap stock, which generally have higher beta than similar companies of larger size. In addition to size, ABM also operates in the metals and mining industry, which has commonly demonstrated strong reactions to market-wide shocks. 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. It seems as though there is an inconsistency in risks portrayed by ABM’s size and industry relative to its actual beta value. A potential driver of this variance can be a fundamental factor, which we will take a look at next.

How ABM’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 ABM’s ratio of fixed assets to total assets in order to determine how high the risk is associated with this type of constraint. Since ABM’s fixed assets are only 2.31% of its total assets, it doesn’t depend heavily on a high level of these rigid and costly assets to operate its business. 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 is consistent with is current beta value which also indicates low volatility.

What this means for you:

You could benefit from lower risk during times of economic decline by holding onto ABM. 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 African Battery Metals’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 ABM’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 ABM 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 ABM’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.