Should You Have Aqualis ASA’s (OB:AQUA) In Your Portfolio?

If you are looking to invest in Aqualis ASA’s (OB:AQUA), or currently own the stock, then you need to understand its beta in order to understand how it can affect the risk of your portfolio. Generally, an investor should consider two types of risk that impact the market value of AQUA. 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. 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.

See our latest analysis for Aqualis

An interpretation of AQUA’s beta

Aqualis’s beta of 0.8 indicates that the company is less volatile relative to the diversified market portfolio. This means that the change in AQUA’s value, whether it goes up or down, will be of a smaller degree than the change in value of the entire stock market index. AQUA’s beta implies it may be a stock that investors with high-beta portfolios might find relevant if they wanted to reduce their exposure to market risk, especially during times of downturns.

OB:AQUA Income Statement May 21st 18
OB:AQUA Income Statement May 21st 18

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

A market capitalisation of ØRE198.78M puts AQUA in the category of small-cap stocks, which tends to possess higher beta than larger companies. Furthermore, the company operates in the energy services industry, which has been found to have high sensitivity to market-wide shocks. As a result, we should expect a high beta for the small-cap AQUA but a low beta for the energy services industry. It seems as though there is an inconsistency in risks portrayed by AQUA’s size and industry relative to its actual beta value. There may be a more fundamental driver which can explain this inconsistency, which we will examine below.

How AQUA’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 test AQUA’s ratio of fixed assets to total assets in order to determine how high the risk is associated with this type of constraint. Considering fixed assets is virtually non-existent in AQUA’s operations, it has low dependency on fixed costs to generate revenue. Thus, we can expect AQUA 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. This is consistent with is current beta value which also indicates low volatility.

What this means for you:

You could benefit from lower risk during times of economic decline by holding onto AQUA. 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 Aqualis’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 AQUA’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for AQUA’s outlook.
  2. Financial Health: Is AQUA’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.
  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.