Does Graham Corporation (NYSE:GHM) Have A High Beta?

Anyone researching Graham Corporation (NYSE:GHM) 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 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. 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.

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What does GHM’s beta value mean to investors?

Graham has a five-year beta of 0.98. 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. While history does not always repeat, this may indicate that the stock price will continue to be exposed to market risk, albeit not overly so. 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 Graham’s revenue and earnings in the image below.

NYSE:GHM Income Statement Export January 22nd 19
NYSE:GHM Income Statement Export January 22nd 19

How does GHM’s size impact its beta?

Graham is a noticeably small company, with a market capitalisation of US$230m. Most companies this size are not always actively traded. It doesn’t take much money to really move the share price of a company as small as this one. That makes it somewhat unusual that it has a beta value so close to the overall market.

What this means for you:

Graham 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. In order to fully understand whether GHM is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as Graham’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 GHM’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for GHM’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has GHM 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 GHM’s historicals for more clarity.
  3. Other Interesting Stocks: It’s worth checking to see how GHM 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.