Can Polarcus Limited (OB:PLCS) Improve Your Portfolio Returns?

If you are looking to invest in Polarcus Limited’s (OB:PLCS), 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 PLCS. The first risk to consider is company-specific, which can be diversified away when you invest in other companies in the same industry as PLCS, because it is rare that an entire industry collapses at once. 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 all stocks are expose to the same level 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. 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 Polarcus

What does PLCS’s beta value mean?

Polarcus has a beta of 1.95, 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, PLCS may be a stock for investors with a portfolio mainly made up of low-beta stocks. This is because during times of bullish sentiment, you can reap more of the upside with high-beta stocks compared to muted movements of low-beta holdings.

OB:PLCS Income Statement Apr 27th 18
OB:PLCS Income Statement Apr 27th 18

Could PLCS’s size and industry cause it to be more volatile?

With a market cap of ØRE816.92M, PLCS falls within the small-cap spectrum of stocks, which are found to experience higher relative risk compared to larger companies. Moreover, PLCS’s industry, energy services, is considered to be cyclical, which means it is more volatile than the market over the economic cycle. As a result, we should expect higher beta for small-cap stocks in a cyclical industry compared to larger stocks in a defensive industry. This supports our interpretation of PLCS’s beta value discussed above. Next, we will examine the fundamental factors which can cause cyclicality in the stock.

How PLCS’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 PLCS’s ratio of fixed assets to total assets in order to determine how high the risk is associated with this type of constraint. With a fixed-assets-to-total-assets ratio of greater than 30%, PLCS appears to be a company that invests a large amount of capital in assets that are hard to scale down on short-notice. Thus, we can expect PLCS 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. Similarly, PLCS’s beta value conveys the same message.

What this means for you:

You may reap the gains of PLCS’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. In order to fully understand whether PLCS is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as Polarcus’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 PLCS’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for PLCS’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has PLCS 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 PLCS’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.