Should You Be Concerned About Neogen Corporation’s (NASDAQ:NEOG) Historical Volatility?

Anyone researching Neogen Corporation (NASDAQ:NEOG) might want to consider the historical volatility of the share price. Modern finance theory considers volatility to be a measure of risk, and there are two main types of price volatility. The first type is company specific volatility. Investors use diversification across uncorrelated stocks to reduce this kind of price volatility across the portfolio. The second type is the broader market volatility, which you cannot diversify away, since it arises from macroeconomic factors which directly affects all the 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 can be a useful tool to understand how much a stock is influenced by market risk (volatility). However, Warren Buffett said ‘volatility is far from synonymous with risk’ in his 2014 letter to investors. So, while useful, beta is not the only metric to consider. To use beta as an investor, you must first understand that the overall market has a beta of 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.

See our latest analysis for Neogen

What does NEOG’s beta value mean to investors?

Zooming in on Neogen, we see it has a five year beta of 1.35. This is above 1, so historically its share price has been influenced by the broader volatility of the stock market. If this beta value holds true in the future, Neogen shares are likely to rise more than the market when the market is going up, but fall faster when the market is going down. 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 Neogen’s revenue and earnings in the image below.

NasdaqGS:NEOG Income Statement, March 25th 2019
NasdaqGS:NEOG Income Statement, March 25th 2019

Does NEOG’s size influence the expected beta?

With a market capitalisation of US$3.1b, Neogen is a pretty big company, even by global standards. It is quite likely well known to very many investors. It takes deep pocketed investors to influence the share price of a large company, so it’s a little unusual to see companies this size with high beta values. It may be that that this company is more heavily impacted by broader economic factors than most.

What this means for you:

Since Neogen has a reasonably high beta, it’s worth considering why it is so heavily influenced by broader market sentiment. For example, it might be a high growth stock or have a lot of operating leverage in its business model. In order to fully understand whether NEOG is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as Neogen’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 NEOG’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for NEOG’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has NEOG 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 NEOG’s historicals for more clarity.
  3. Other Interesting Stocks: It’s worth checking to see how NEOG measures up against other companies on valuation. You could start with this free list of prospective options.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.