Does Provident Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:PVBC) Have A Particularly Volatile Share Price?

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If you’re interested in Provident Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:PVBC), then you might want to consider its beta (a measure of share price volatility) in order to understand how the stock could impact your portfolio. Volatility is considered to be a measure of risk in modern finance theory. Investors may think of volatility as falling into two main categories. The first category is company specific volatility. This can be dealt with by limiting your exposure to any particular stock. The second sort is caused by the natural volatility of markets, overall. For example, certain macroeconomic events will impact (virtually) all stocks on the market.

Some stocks are more sensitive to general market forces than others. Beta can be a useful tool to understand how much a stock is influenced by market risk (volatility). However, Warren Buffett said ‘volatility is far from synonymous with risk’ in his 2014 letter to investors. So, while useful, beta is not the only metric to consider. To use beta as an investor, you must first understand that the overall market has a beta of one. Any stock with a beta of greater than one is considered more volatile than the market, while those with a beta below one are either less volatile or poorly correlated with the market.

View our latest analysis for Provident Bancorp

What does PVBC’s beta value mean to investors?

Given that it has a beta of 0.85, we can surmise that the Provident Bancorp share price has not been strongly impacted by broader market volatility (over the last 5 years). This means that — if history is a guide — buying the stock would reduce the impact of overall market volatility in many portfolios (depending on the beta of the portfolio, of course). Beta is worth considering, but it’s also important to consider whether Provident Bancorp is growing earnings and revenue. You can take a look for yourself, below.

NasdaqCM:PVBC Income Statement, July 15th 2019
NasdaqCM:PVBC Income Statement, July 15th 2019

Could PVBC’s size cause it to be more volatile?

Provident Bancorp is a noticeably small company, with a market capitalisation of US$258m. Most companies this size are not always actively traded. Companies with market capitalisations around this size often show poor correlation with the broader market because market volatility is overshadowed by company specific events, or other factors. It’s worth checking to see how often shares are traded, because very small companies with very low beta values are often only thinly traded.

What this means for you:

One potential advantage of owning low beta stocks like Provident Bancorp is that your overall portfolio won’t be too sensitive to overall market movements. However, this can be a blessing or a curse, depending on what’s happening in the broader market. In order to fully understand whether PVBC is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as Provident Bancorp’s financial health and performance track record. I urge you to continue your research by taking a look at the following:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for PVBC’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for PVBC’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has PVBC 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 PVBC’s historicals for more clarity.
  3. Other Interesting Stocks: It’s worth checking to see how PVBC measures up against other companies on valuation. You could start with this free list of prospective options.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.