Can 500com Limited (NYSE:WBAI) Improve Your Portfolio Returns?

For 500com Limited’s (NYSE:WBAI) 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 WBAI. The first risk to think about is company-specific, which can be diversified away by investing in other companies in order to lower your exposure to one particular stock. The second type is market risk, one that you cannot diversify away, since it arises from macroeconomic factors which directly affects all the stocks in the market.

Not all stocks are expose to the same level of market risk. A widely-used metric to measure a stock’s market risk is beta, and the broad market index represents a beta value of one. A stock with a beta greater than one is expected to exhibit higher volatility resulting from market-wide shocks compared to one with a beta below one.

Check out our latest analysis for 500.com

What does WBAI’s beta value mean?

500.com’s beta of 0.01 indicates that the company is less volatile relative to the diversified market portfolio. This means the stock is more defensive against the ups and downs of a stock market, moving by less than the entire market index in times of change. WBAI’s beta implies it may be a stock that investors with high-beta portfolios might find relevant if they wanted to reduce their exposure to market risk, especially during times of downturns.

NYSE:WBAI Income Statement May 8th 18
NYSE:WBAI Income Statement May 8th 18

Could WBAI’s size and industry cause it to be more volatile?

A market capitalisation of US$830.45M puts WBAI in the category of small-cap stocks, which tends to possess higher beta than larger companies. Moreover, WBAI’s industry, hospitality, is considered to be cyclical, which means it is more volatile than the market over the economic cycle. Therefore, investors may expect high beta associated with small companies, as well as those operating in the hospitality industry, relative to those more well-established firms in a more defensive industry. This is an interesting conclusion, since both WBAI’s size and industry indicates the stock should have a higher beta than it currently has. A potential driver of this variance can be a fundamental factor, which we will take a look at next.

Is WBAI’s cost structure indicative of a high 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 WBAI’s ratio of fixed assets to total assets to see whether the company is highly exposed to the risk of this type of constraint. Since WBAI’s fixed assets are only 6.10% of its total assets, it doesn’t depend heavily on a high level of these rigid and costly assets to operate its business. Thus, we can expect WBAI to be more stable in the face of market movements, relative to its peers of similar size but with a higher portion of fixed assets on their books. Similarly, WBAI’s beta value conveys the same message.

What this means for you:

You may reap the benefit of muted movements during times of economic decline by holding onto WBAI. Its low fixed cost also means that, in terms of operating leverage, its costs are relatively malleable to preserve margins. In order to fully understand whether WBAI is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as 500.com’s financial health and performance track record. I urge you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:

  1. Financial Health: Is WBAI’s operations financially sustainable? Balance sheets can be hard to analyze, which is why we’ve done it for you. Check out our financial health checks here.
  2. Past Track Record: Has WBAI 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 WBAI’s historicals for more clarity.
  3. 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.