How Does Tennant Company (NYSE:TNC) Affect Your Portfolio Volatility?

Anyone researching Tennant Company (NYSE:TNC) 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 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. 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.

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What we can learn from TNC’s beta value

As it happens, Tennant has a five year beta of 1.02. This is fairly close to 1, so the stock has historically shown a somewhat similar level of volatility as the 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. 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 Tennant fares in that regard, below.

NYSE:TNC Income Statement Export January 21st 19
NYSE:TNC Income Statement Export January 21st 19

How does TNC’s size impact its beta?

With a market capitalisation of US$1.1b, Tennant is a small cap stock. However, it is big enough to catch the attention of professional investors. Small companies often have a high beta value because the stock price can move on relatively low capital flows. So it’s interesting to note that this stock historically has a beta value quite close to one.

What this means for you:

Since Tennant 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 Tennant’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 TNC’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for TNC’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has TNC 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 TNC’s historicals for more clarity.
  3. Other Interesting Stocks: It’s worth checking to see how TNC 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.