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If you own shares in First Pacific Company Limited (HKG:142) then it’s worth thinking about how it contributes to the volatility of your portfolio, overall. In finance, Beta is a measure of volatility. Volatility is considered to be a measure of risk in modern finance theory. Investors may think of volatility as falling into two main categories. First, we have company specific volatility, which is the price gyrations of an individual stock. Holding at least 8 stocks can reduce this kind of risk across a portfolio. 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 are more sensitive to general market forces than others. Beta can be a useful tool to understand how much a stock is influenced by market risk (volatility). However, Warren Buffett said ‘volatility is far from synonymous with risk’ in his 2014 letter to investors. So, while useful, beta is not the only metric to consider. To use beta as an investor, you must first understand that the overall market has a beta of one. A stock with a beta greater than one is more sensitive to broader market movements than a stock with a beta of less than one.
What 142’s beta value tells investors
Zooming in on First Pacific, we see it has a five year beta of 0.86. This is below 1, so historically its share price has been rather independent from the market. This suggests that including it in your portfolio will reduce volatility arising from broader market movements, assuming your portfolio’s weighted average beta is higher than 0.86. Beta is worth considering, but it’s also important to consider whether First Pacific is growing earnings and revenue. You can take a look for yourself, below.
How does 142’s size impact its beta?
With a market capitalisation of HK$14b, First Pacific is a small cap stock. However, it is big enough to catch the attention of professional investors. Small companies can have a low beta value when company specific factors outweigh the influence of overall market volatility. That might be happening here.
What this means for you:
Since First Pacific is not heavily influenced by market moves, its share price is probably far more dependend on company specific developments. It could pay to take a closer look at metrics such as revenue growth, earnings growth, and debt. This article aims to educate investors about beta values, but it’s well worth looking at important company-specific fundamentals such as First Pacific’s financial health and performance track record. I urge you to continue your research by taking a look at the following:
- Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for 142’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for 142’s outlook.
- Past Track Record: Has 142 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 142’s historicals for more clarity.
- Other Interesting Stocks: It’s worth checking to see how 142 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.