If you’re interested in VSE Corporation (NASDAQ:VSEC), 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 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. 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.
What we can learn from VSEC’s beta value
Given that it has a beta of 1.6, we can surmise that the VSE share price has been fairly sensitive to market volatility (over the last 5 years). Based on this history, investors should be aware that VSE are likely to rise strongly in times of greed, but sell off in times of fear. 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 VSE fares in that regard, below.
Could VSEC’s size cause it to be more volatile?
With a market capitalisation of US$315m, VSE is a very small company by global standards. It is quite likely to be unknown to most investors. It has a relatively high beta, suggesting it is fairly actively traded for a company of its size. Because it takes less capital to move the share price of a small company like this, when a stock this size is actively traded it is quite often more sensitive to market volatility than similar large companies.
What this means for you:
Since VSE tends to moves up when the market is going up, and down when it’s going down, potential investors may wish to reflect on the overall market, when considering the stock. This article aims to educate investors about beta values, but it’s well worth looking at important company-specific fundamentals such as VSE’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 VSEC’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for VSEC’s outlook.
- Past Track Record: Has VSEC 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 VSEC’s historicals for more clarity.
- Other Interesting Stocks: It’s worth checking to see how VSEC 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 email@example.com.