For OCI NV.’s (ENXTAM:OCI) 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 OCI. The first risk to consider is company-specific, which can be diversified away when you invest in other companies in the same industry as OCI, because it is rare that an entire industry collapses at once. 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. 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. 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.View our latest analysis for OCI
What does OCI’s beta value mean?
OCI has a beta of 1.46, 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. According to this value of beta, OCI 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.
How does OCI’s size and industry impact its risk?
OCI has a market capitalization of €4.15B, putting it in the category of established companies, which are found to experience less relative risk compared to small-sized companies. But, OCI’s industry, chemicals, is considered to be cyclical, which means it is more volatile than the market over the economic cycle. Therefore, investors can expect a low beta associated with the size of OCI, but a higher beta given the nature of the industry it operates in. It seems as though there is an inconsistency in risks from OCI’s size and industry. A potential driver of this variance can be a fundamental factor, which we will take a look at next.
How OCI’s assets could affect its beta
During times of economic downturn, low demand may cause companies to readjust production of their goods and services. It is more difficult for companies to lower their cost, if the majority of these costs are generated by fixed assets. Therefore, this is a type of risk which is associated with higher beta. I test OCI’s ratio of fixed assets to total assets in order to determine how high the risk is associated with this type of constraint. Given a fixed to total assets ratio of over 30%, OCI seems to be a company which invests a big chunk of its capital on assets that cannot be scaled down on short-notice. Thus, we can expect OCI to be more volatile in the face of market movements, relative to its peers of similar size but with a lower proportion of fixed assets on their books. This is consistent with is current beta value which also indicates high volatility.
What this means for you:
You may reap the gains of OCI’s returns in times of an economic boom. Though the business does have higher fixed cost than what is considered safe, during times of growth, consumer demand may be high enough to not warrant immediate concerns. However, during a downturn, a more defensive stock can cushion the impact of this risk. What I have not mentioned in my article here are important company-specific fundamentals such as OCI’s financial health and performance track record. I highly recommend you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:
- Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for OCI’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for OCI’s outlook.
- Past Track Record: Has OCI 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 OCI’s historicals for more clarity.
- 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.