How Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE:BHLB) Can Impact Your Portfolio Volatility

If you’re interested in Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE:BHLB), 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. Modern finance theory considers volatility to be a measure of risk, and there are two main types of price volatility. The first category is company specific volatility. This can be dealt with by limiting your exposure to any particular stock. The second type is the broader market volatility, which you cannot diversify away, since it arises from macroeconomic factors which directly affects all the stocks on the market.

Some stocks see their prices move in concert with the market. Others tend towards stronger, gentler or unrelated price movements. Some investors use beta as a measure of how much a certain stock is impacted by market risk (volatility). While we should keep in mind that Warren Buffett has cautioned that ‘Volatility is far from synonymous with risk’, beta is still a useful factor to consider. To make good use of it you must first know that the beta of the overall market is one. A stock with a beta greater than one is more sensitive to broader market movements than a stock with a beta of less than one.

Check out our latest analysis for Berkshire Hills Bancorp

What does BHLB’s beta value mean to investors?

As it happens, Berkshire Hills Bancorp has a five year beta of 1.07. This is fairly close to 1, so the stock has historically shown a somewhat similar level of volatility as the market. Using history as a guide, we might surmise that the share price is likely to be influenced by market voltility going forward but it probably won’t be particularly sensitive to it. Beta is worth considering, but it’s also important to consider whether Berkshire Hills Bancorp is growing earnings and revenue. You can take a look for yourself, below.

NYSE:BHLB Income Statement, March 27th 2019
NYSE:BHLB Income Statement, March 27th 2019

Does BHLB’s size influence the expected beta?

With a market capitalisation of US$1.2b, Berkshire Hills Bancorp is a small cap stock. However, it is big enough to catch the attention of professional 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:

Since Berkshire Hills Bancorp has a beta close to one, it will probably show a positive return when the market is moving up, based on history. If you’re trying to generate better returns than the market, it would be worth thinking about other metrics such as cashflows, dividends and revenue growth might be a more useful guide to the future. 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 highly recommend you dive deeper by considering 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.

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.