What You Must Know About WANdisco plc’s (LON:WAND) Beta Value

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Anyone researching WANdisco plc (LON:WAND) might want to consider the historical volatility of the share price. Volatility is considered to be a measure of risk in modern finance theory. Investors may think of volatility as falling into two main categories. The first category is company specific volatility. This can be dealt with by limiting your exposure to any particular stock. The second type is the broader market volatility, which you cannot diversify away, since it arises from macroeconomic factors which directly affects all the stocks on the market.

Some stocks see their prices move in concert with the market. Others tend towards stronger, gentler or unrelated price movements. Some investors use beta as a measure of how much a certain stock is impacted by market risk (volatility). While we should keep in mind that Warren Buffett has cautioned that ‘Volatility is far from synonymous with risk’, beta is still a useful factor to consider. To make good use of it you must first know that the beta of the overall market is one. A stock with a beta below one is either less volatile than the market, or more volatile but not corellated with the overall market. In comparison a stock with a beta of over one tends to be move in a similar direction to the market in the long term, but with greater changes in price.

View our latest analysis for WANdisco

What WAND’s beta value tells investors

Zooming in on WANdisco, we see it has a five year beta of 1.79. This is above 1, so historically its share price has been influenced by the broader volatility of the stock market. Based on this history, investors should be aware that WANdisco are likely to rise strongly in times of greed, but sell off in times of fear. Share price volatility is well worth considering, but most long term investors consider the history of revenue and earnings growth to be more important. Take a look at how WANdisco fares in that regard, below.

AIM:WAND Income Statement, June 14th 2019
AIM:WAND Income Statement, June 14th 2019

Does WAND’s size influence the expected beta?

WANdisco is a rather small company. It has a market capitalisation of UK£248m, which means it is probably under the radar of most investors. It takes less money to influence the share price of a very small company. This may explain the excess volatility implied by this beta value.

What this means for you:

Since WANdisco has a reasonably high beta, it’s worth considering why it is so heavily influenced by broader market sentiment. For example, it might be a high growth stock or have a lot of operating leverage in its business model. In order to fully understand whether WAND is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as WANdisco’s financial health and performance track record. I urge you to continue your research by taking a look at the following:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for WAND’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for WAND’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has WAND 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 WAND’s historicals for more clarity.
  3. Other Interesting Stocks: It’s worth checking to see how WAND measures up against other companies on valuation. You could start with this free list of prospective options.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.