Why You Need To Look At This Factor Before Buying Zhejiang United Investment Holdings Group Limited (HKG:8366)

For Zhejiang United Investment Holdings Group Limited’s (SEHK:8366) shareholders, and also potential investors in the stock, understanding how the stock’s risk and return characteristics can impact your portfolio is important. Broadly speaking, there are two types of risk you should consider when investing in stocks such as 8366. 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 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.

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. Any stock with a beta of greater than one is considered more volatile than the market, and those with a beta less than one is generally less volatile.

See our latest analysis for Zhejiang United Investment Holdings Group

An interpretation of 8366’s beta

Zhejiang United Investment Holdings Group has a beta of 3.07, which means that the percentage change in its stock value will be higher than the entire market in times of booms and busts. A high level of beta means investors face higher risk associated with potential gains and losses driven by market movements. Based on this beta value, 8366 can help magnify your portfolio return, especially if it is predominantly made up of low-beta stocks. If the market is going up, a higher exposure to the upside from a high-beta stock can push up your portfolio return.

SEHK:8366 Income Statement Jan 24th 18
SEHK:8366 Income Statement Jan 24th 18

How does 8366’s size and industry impact its risk?

A market capitalisation of HK$907.20M puts 8366 in the category of small-cap stocks, which tends to possess higher beta than larger companies. Furthermore, the company operates in the construction industry, which has been found to have high sensitivity to market-wide shocks. Therefore, investors may expect high beta associated with small companies, as well as those operating in the construction industry, relative to those more well-established firms in a more defensive industry. This is consistent with 8366’s individual beta value we discussed above. Next, we will examine the fundamental factors which can cause cyclicality in the stock.

Is 8366’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 8366’s ratio of fixed assets to total assets to see whether the company is highly exposed to the risk of this type of constraint. Given that fixed assets make up an insignificant portion of total assets, 8366 doesn’t rely heavily upon these expensive, inflexible assets to run its business during downturns. Thus, we can expect 8366 to be more stable in the face of market movements, relative to its peers of similar size but with a higher portion of fixed assets on their books. However, this is the opposite to what 8366’s actual beta value suggests, which is higher stock volatility relative to the market.

What this means for you:

You may reap the gains of 8366’s returns during times of economic growth by holding the stock. Its low fixed cost also implies that it has the flexibility to adjust its cost to preserve margins during times of a downturn. I recommend analysing the stock in terms of your current portfolio composition before deciding to invest more into 8366. What I have not mentioned in my article here are important company-specific fundamentals such as Zhejiang United Investment Holdings Group’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 8366’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. Valuation: What is 8366 worth today? Is the stock undervalued, even when its growth outlook is factored into its intrinsic value? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether 8366 is currently mispriced by the market.
  • 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.