Why You Need To Look At This Factor Before Buying State Bank of India (NSE:SBIN)

For State Bank of India’s (NSEI:SBIN) 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 SBIN. 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 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.

Not every stock is exposed to the same level of market risk. The most widely used metric to quantify a stock’s market risk is beta, and the market as a whole represents a beta 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 State Bank of India

What does SBIN’s beta value mean?

With a beta of 1.09, State Bank of India is a stock that tends to experience more gains than the market during a growth phase and also a bigger reduction in value compared to the market during a broad downturn. Based on this beta value, SBIN will help diversify your portfolio, if it currently comprises of low-beta stocks. This will be beneficial for portfolio returns, in particular, when current market sentiment is positive.

NSEI:SBIN Income Statement Mar 6th 18
NSEI:SBIN Income Statement Mar 6th 18

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

A market capitalisation of ₹2.26T puts SBIN in the basket of established companies, which is not a guarantee of low relative risk, though they do tend to experience a lower level of relative risk compared to smaller entities. However, SBIN operates in the banks industry, which has commonly demonstrated strong reactions to market-wide shocks. Therefore, investors can expect a low beta associated with the size of SBIN, but a higher beta given the nature of the industry it operates in. It seems as though there is an inconsistency in risks from SBIN’s size and industry. There may be a more fundamental driver which can explain this inconsistency, which we will examine below.

How SBIN’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 examine SBIN’s ratio of fixed assets to total assets to see whether the company is highly exposed to the risk of this type of constraint. Considering fixed assets account for less than a third of the company’s overall assets, SBIN seems to have a smaller dependency on fixed costs to generate revenue. Thus, we can expect SBIN 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 SBIN’s actual beta value suggests, which is higher stock volatility relative to the market.

What this means for you:

You could benefit from higher returns during times of economic growth by holding onto SBIN. 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 State Bank of India’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 SBIN’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for SBIN’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has SBIN 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 SBIN’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.