What Are The Drivers Of Hansa Medical AB (publ)’s (STO:HMED) Risks?

If you are looking to invest in Hansa Medical AB (publ)’s (STO:HMED), 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 HMED. The first type is company-specific risk, which can be diversified away by investing in other companies to reduce exposure to one particular stock. 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.

Not all stocks are expose 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 considered more sensitive to market-wide shocks compared to a stock that trades below the value of one.

Check out our latest analysis for Hansa Medical

What does HMED’s beta value mean?

Hansa Medical has a beta of 1.57, 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, HMED 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.

OM:HMED Income Statement July 5th 18
OM:HMED Income Statement July 5th 18

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

A market capitalisation of kr7.75b puts HMED in the category of small-cap stocks, which tends to possess higher beta than larger companies. But, HMED’s industry, biotechs, is considered to be defensive, which means it is less volatile than the market over the economic cycle. As a result, we should expect a high beta for the small-cap HMED but a low beta for the biotechs industry. It seems as though there is an inconsistency in risks from HMED’s size and industry. There may be a more fundamental driver which can explain this inconsistency, which we will examine below.

Can HMED’s asset-composition point to a higher 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 examine HMED’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 is virtually non-existent in HMED’s operations, it has low dependency on fixed costs to generate revenue. As a result, the company may be less volatile relative to broad market movements, compared to a company of similar size but higher proportion of fixed assets. However, this is the opposite to what HMED’s actual beta value suggests, which is higher stock volatility relative to the market.

What this means for you:

You may reap the gains of HMED’s returns during times of economic growth by holding the stock. Its low fixed cost also implies that it has the flexibility to adjust its cost to preserve margins during times of a downturn. I recommend analysing the stock in terms of your current portfolio composition before deciding to invest more into HMED. In order to fully understand whether HMED is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as Hansa Medical’s financial health and performance track record. I urge you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for HMED’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for HMED’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has HMED 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 HMED’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.