Does Berkshire Hills Bancorp Inc (NYSE:BHLB) Have A High Beta?

Anyone researching Berkshire Hills Bancorp Inc (NYSE:BHLB) might want to consider the historical volatility of the share price. Modern finance theory considers volatility to be a measure of risk, and there are two main types of price volatility. First, we have company specific volatility, which is the price gyrations of an individual stock. Holding at least 8 stocks can reduce this kind of risk across a portfolio. 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 mimic the volatility of the market quite closely, while others demonstrate muted, exagerrated or uncorrelated price movements. 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.

See our latest analysis for Berkshire Hills Bancorp

What we can learn from BHLB’s beta value

Berkshire Hills Bancorp has a five-year beta of 0.95. This is reasonably close to the market beta of 1, so the stock has in the past displayed similar levels of volatility to the overall market. If the future looks like the past, we could therefore consider it likely that the stock price will experience share price volatility that is roughly similar to the overall market. Share price volatility is well worth considering, but most long term investors consider the history of revenue and earnings growth to be more important. Take a look at how Berkshire Hills Bancorp fares in that regard, below.

NYSE:BHLB Income Statement Export November 30th 18
NYSE:BHLB Income Statement Export November 30th 18

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

Berkshire Hills Bancorp is a small company, but not tiny and little known. It has a market capitalisation of US$1.6b, which means it would be on the radar of intstitutional investors. It takes less capital to move the share price of small companies, and they are also more impacted by company specific events, so it’s a bit of a surprise that the beta is so close to the overall market.

What this means for you:

Berkshire Hills Bancorp has a beta value quite close to that of the overall market. That doesn’t tell us much on its own, so it is probably worth considering whether the company is growing, if you’re looking for stocks that will go up more than the overall market. This article aims to educate investors about beta values, but it’s well worth looking at important company-specific fundamentals such as Berkshire Hills 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 BHLB’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for BHLB’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has BHLB 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 BHLB’s historicals for more clarity.
  3. Other Interesting Stocks: It’s worth checking to see how BHLB measures up against other companies on valuation. You could start with this free list of prospective options.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.