Perma-Pipe International Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:PPIH): Risks You Need To Consider Before Buying

If you are looking to invest in Perma-Pipe International Holdings Inc’s (NASDAQ:PPIH), 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. There are two types of risks that affect the market value of a listed company such as PPIH. The first risk to think about is company-specific, which can be diversified away by investing in other companies in order to lower your exposure to one particular stock. The second risk is market-wide, which arises from investing in the stock market. This risk reflects changes in economic and political factors that affects all stocks.

Not all stocks are expose to the same level of market risk. A popular measure of market risk for a stock is its beta, and the market as a whole represents a beta value of one. Any stock with a beta of greater than one is considered more volatile than the market, and those with a beta less than one is generally less volatile.

Check out our latest analysis for Perma-Pipe International Holdings

An interpretation of PPIH’s beta

With a beta of 1.1, Perma-Pipe International Holdings is a stock that tends to experience more gains than the market during a growth phase and also a bigger reduction in value compared to the market during a broad downturn. Based on this beta value, PPIH will help diversify your portfolio, if it currently comprises of low-beta stocks. This will be beneficial for portfolio returns, in particular, when current market sentiment is positive.

NasdaqGM:PPIH Income Statement Export August 1st 18
NasdaqGM:PPIH Income Statement Export August 1st 18

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

With a market cap of US$69.92m, PPIH falls within the small-cap spectrum of stocks, which are found to experience higher relative risk compared to larger companies. In addition to size, PPIH also operates in the machinery industry, which has commonly demonstrated strong reactions to market-wide shocks. Therefore, investors may expect high beta associated with small companies, as well as those operating in the machinery industry, relative to those more well-established firms in a more defensive industry. This is consistent with PPIH’s individual beta value we discussed above. Next, we will examine the fundamental factors which can cause cyclicality in the stock.

Can PPIH’s asset-composition point to a higher beta?

An asset-heavy company tends to have a higher beta because the risk associated with running fixed assets during a downturn is highly expensive. I test PPIH’s ratio of fixed assets to total assets in order to determine how high the risk is associated with this type of constraint. PPIH’s fixed assets to total assets ratio of higher than 30% shows that the company uses up a big chunk of its capital on assets that are hard to scale up or down in short notice. As a result, this aspect of PPIH indicates a higher beta than a similar size company with a lower portion of fixed assets on their balance sheet. This is consistent with is current beta value which also indicates high volatility.

What this means for you:

You may reap the gains of PPIH’s returns in times of an economic boom. Though the business does have higher fixed cost than what is considered safe, during times of growth, consumer demand may be high enough to not warrant immediate concerns. However, during a downturn, a more defensive stock can cushion the impact of this risk. In order to fully understand whether PPIH is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as Perma-Pipe International Holdings’s financial health and performance track record. I urge you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:

  1. Financial Health: Is PPIH’s operations financially sustainable? Balance sheets can be hard to analyze, which is why we’ve done it for you. Check out our financial health checks here.
  2. Past Track Record: Has PPIH 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 PPIH’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.

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.