Does Universal Electronics Inc. (NASDAQ:UEIC) Have A Particularly Volatile Share Price?

If you’re interested in Universal Electronics Inc. (NASDAQ:UEIC), 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. 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 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 see their prices move in concert with the market. Others tend towards stronger, gentler or unrelated price movements. Beta is a widely used metric to measure a stock’s exposure to market risk (volatility). Before we go on, it’s worth noting that Warren Buffett pointed out in his 2014 letter to shareholders that ‘volatility is far from synonymous with risk.’ Having said that, beta can still be rather useful. The first thing to understand about beta is that the beta of the overall market is one. A stock with a beta greater than one is more sensitive to broader market movements than a stock with a beta of less than one.

See our latest analysis for Universal Electronics

What does UEIC’s beta value mean to investors?

Looking at the last five years, Universal Electronics has a beta of 1.38. The fact that this is well above 1 indicates that its share price movements have shown sensitivity to overall market volatility. If the past is any guide, we would expect that Universal Electronics shares will rise quicker than the markets in times of optimism, but fall faster in times of pessimism. 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 Universal Electronics’s revenue and earnings in the image below.

NasdaqGS:UEIC Income Statement Export January 1st 19
NasdaqGS:UEIC Income Statement Export January 1st 19

Could UEIC’s size cause it to be more volatile?

With a market capitalisation of US$339m, Universal Electronics is a very small company by global standards. It is quite likely to be unknown to most investors. Relatively few investors can influence the price of a smaller company, compared to a large company. This could explain the high beta value, in this case.

What this means for you:

Beta only tells us that the Universal Electronics share price is sensitive to broader market movements. This could indicate that it is a high growth company, or is heavily influenced by sentiment because it is speculative. Alternatively, it could have operating leverage in its business model. Ultimately, beta is an interesting metric, but there’s plenty more to learn. In order to fully understand whether UEIC is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as Universal Electronics’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 UEIC’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for UEIC’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has UEIC 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 UEIC’s historicals for more clarity.
  3. Other Interesting Stocks: It’s worth checking to see how UEIC 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.