Should You Be Concerned About Emmis Communications Corporation’s (NASDAQ:EMMS) Historical Volatility?

Anyone researching Emmis Communications Corporation (NASDAQ:EMMS) might want to consider the historical volatility of the share price. Volatility is considered to be a measure of risk in modern finance theory. Investors may think of volatility as falling into two main categories. The first category is company specific volatility. This can be dealt with by limiting your exposure to any particular stock. 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 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. A stock with a beta below one is either less volatile than the market, or more volatile but not corellated with the overall market. In comparison a stock with a beta of over one tends to be move in a similar direction to the market in the long term, but with greater changes in price.

View our latest analysis for Emmis Communications

What does EMMS’s beta value mean to investors?

Zooming in on Emmis Communications, we see it has a five year beta of 1.52. 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, Emmis Communications shares are likely to rise more than the market when the market is going up, but fall faster when the market is going down. Share price volatility is well worth considering, but most long term investors consider the history of revenue and earnings growth to be more important. Take a look at how Emmis Communications fares in that regard, below.

NasdaqGS:EMMS Income Statement April 25th 2020
NasdaqGS:EMMS Income Statement April 25th 2020

How does EMMS’s size impact its beta?

Emmis Communications is a noticeably small company, with a market capitalisation of US$24m. Most companies this size are not always actively traded. It has a relatively high beta, suggesting it is fairly actively traded for a company of its size. Because it takes less capital to move the share price of a small company like this, when a stock this size is actively traded it is quite often more sensitive to market volatility than similar large companies.

What this means for you:

Beta only tells us that the Emmis Communications 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. This article aims to educate investors about beta values, but it’s well worth looking at important company-specific fundamentals such as Emmis Communications’s financial health and performance track record. I urge you to continue your research by taking a look at the following:

  1. Financial Health: Are EMMS’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 EMMS 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 EMMS’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.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.