For International Speedway Corporation’s (NASDAQ:ISCA) shareholders, and also potential investors in the stock, understanding how the stock’s risk and return characteristics can impact your portfolio is important. There are two types of risks that affect the market value of a listed company such as ISCA. The first type is company-specific risk, which can be diversified away by investing in other companies to reduce 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.
What is ISCA’s market risk?
With a beta of 1.13, International Speedway 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, ISCA can help magnify your portfolio return, especially if it is predominantly made up of low-beta stocks. If the market is going up, a higher exposure to the upside from a high-beta stock can push up your portfolio return.
How does ISCA’s size and industry impact its risk?
ISCA, with its market capitalisation of US$1.92b, is a small-cap stock, which generally have higher beta than similar companies of larger size. Furthermore, the company operates in the hospitality industry, which has been found to have high sensitivity to market-wide shocks. So, investors should expect a larger beta for smaller companies operating in a cyclical industry in contrast with lower beta for larger firms in a more defensive industry. This supports our interpretation of ISCA’s beta value discussed above. Fundamental factors can also drive the cyclicality of the stock, which we will take a look at next.
How ISCA’s assets could affect its 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 examine ISCA’s ratio of fixed assets to total assets to see whether the company is highly exposed to the risk of this type of constraint. ISCA’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. Thus, we can expect ISCA to be more volatile in the face of market movements, relative to its peers of similar size but with a lower proportion of fixed assets on their books. Similarly, ISCA’s beta value conveys the same message.
What this means for you:
You may reap the gains of ISCA’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 ISCA is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as International Speedway’s financial health and performance track record. I highly recommend you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:
- Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for ISCA’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for ISCA’s outlook.
- Past Track Record: Has ISCA 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 ISCA’s historicals for more clarity.
- 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 email@example.com.