For ENGlobal Corporation’s (NASDAQ:ENG) 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 ENG. The first risk to consider is company-specific, which can be diversified away when you invest in other companies in the same industry as ENG, because it is rare that an entire industry collapses at once. The other type of risk, which cannot be diversified away, is market risk. Every stock in the market is exposed to this risk, which arises from macroeconomic factors such as economic growth and geo-political tussles just to name a few.
Not every stock is exposed to the same level of market risk. The most widely used metric to quantify a stock’s market risk is beta, and the market as a whole represents a beta 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.See our latest analysis for ENGlobal
What is ENG’s market risk?
With a beta of 1.06, ENGlobal 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, ENG will help diversify your portfolio, if it currently comprises of low-beta stocks. This will be beneficial for portfolio returns, in particular, when current market sentiment is positive.
Could ENG’s size and industry cause it to be more volatile?
ENG, with its market capitalisation of US$34.39m, is a small-cap stock, which generally have higher beta than similar companies of larger size. In addition to size, ENG also operates in the energy services industry, which has commonly demonstrated strong reactions to market-wide shocks. Therefore, investors may expect high beta associated with small companies, as well as those operating in the energy services industry, relative to those more well-established firms in a more defensive industry. This is consistent with ENG’s individual beta value we discussed above. Fundamental factors can also drive the cyclicality of the stock, which we will take a look at next.
Can ENG’s asset-composition point to a higher beta?
During times of economic downturn, low demand may cause companies to readjust production of their goods and services. It is more difficult for companies to lower their cost, if the majority of these costs are generated by fixed assets. Therefore, this is a type of risk which is associated with higher beta. I test ENG’s ratio of fixed assets to total assets in order to determine how high the risk is associated with this type of constraint. Given that fixed assets make up less than a third of the company’s total assets, ENG doesn’t rely heavily upon these expensive, inflexible assets to run its business during downturns. As a result, the company may be less volatile relative to broad market movements, compared to a company of similar size but higher proportion of fixed assets. However, this is the opposite to what ENG’s actual beta value suggests, which is higher stock volatility relative to the market.
What this means for you:
You could benefit from higher returns during times of economic growth by holding onto ENG. Its low fixed cost also means that, in terms of operating leverage, it is relatively flexible during times of economic downturns. In order to fully understand whether ENG is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as ENGlobal’s financial health and performance track record. I urge you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:
- Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for ENG’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for ENG’s outlook.
- Past Track Record: Has ENG 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 ENG’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.