Anyone researching Hilltop Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HTH) 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. The first type is company specific volatility. Investors use diversification across uncorrelated stocks to reduce this kind of price volatility across the 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. 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 below one is either less volatile than the market, or more volatile but not corellated with the overall market. In comparison a stock with a beta of over one tends to be move in a similar direction to the market in the long term, but with greater changes in price.
What we can learn from HTH’s beta value
Looking at the last five years, Hilltop Holdings has a beta of 0.83. The fact that this is well below 1 indicates that its share price movements haven’t historically been very sensitive to overall market volatility. 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). Many would argue that beta is useful in position sizing, but fundamental metrics such as revenue and earnings are more important overall. You can see Hilltop Holdings’s revenue and earnings in the image below.
Does HTH’s size influence the expected beta?
Hilltop Holdings 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. Small companies often have a high beta value, but they can be heavily influenced by company-specific events. This might explain why this stock has a low beta.
What this means for you:
Since Hilltop Holdings is not heavily influenced by market moves, its share price is probably far more dependend on company specific developments. It could pay to take a closer look at metrics such as revenue growth, earnings growth, and debt. This article aims to educate investors about beta values, but it’s well worth looking at important company-specific fundamentals such as Hilltop Holdings’s financial health and performance track record. I urge you to continue your research by taking a look at the following:
- Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for HTH’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for HTH’s outlook.
- Past Track Record: Has HTH 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 HTH’s historicals for more clarity.
- Other Interesting Stocks: It’s worth checking to see how HTH measures up against other companies on valuation. You could start with this free list of prospective options.
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If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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.