What You Must Know About Affimed NV.’s (NASDAQ:AFMD) Market Risks

If you are a shareholder in Affimed NV.’s (NASDAQ:AFMD), or are thinking about investing in the company, knowing how it contributes to the risk and reward profile of your portfolio is important. Broadly speaking, there are two types of risk you should consider when investing in stocks such as AFMD. 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 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.

Different characteristics of a stock expose it to various levels 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.

View our latest analysis for Affimed

An interpretation of AFMD’s beta

Affimed’s five-year beta of 2.26 means that the company’s value will swing up by more than the market during prosperous times, but also drop down by more in times of downturns. This level of volatility indicates bigger risk for investors who passively invest in the stock market index. Based on this beta value, AFMD may be a stock for investors with a portfolio mainly made up of low-beta stocks. This is because during times of bullish sentiment, you can reap more of the upside with high-beta stocks compared to muted movements of low-beta holdings.

NasdaqGM:AFMD Income Statement May 15th 18
NasdaqGM:AFMD Income Statement May 15th 18

How does AFMD’s size and industry impact its risk?

AFMD, with its market capitalisation of US$137.26M, is a small-cap stock, which generally have higher beta than similar companies of larger size. However, AFMD operates in the biotechs industry, which has commonly demonstrated muted reactions to market-wide shocks. Therefore, investors can expect a high beta associated with the size of AFMD, but a lower beta given the nature of the industry it operates in. It seems as though there is an inconsistency in risks from AFMD’s size and industry. There may be a more fundamental driver which can explain this inconsistency, which we will examine below.

How AFMD’s assets could affect its 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 AFMD’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, AFMD 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. This outcome contradicts AFMD’s current beta value which indicates an above-average volatility.

What this means for you:

You may reap the gains of AFMD’s returns during times of economic growth by holding the stock. Its low fixed cost also implies that it has the flexibility to adjust its cost to preserve margins during times of a downturn. I recommend analysing the stock in terms of your current portfolio composition before deciding to invest more into AFMD. In order to fully understand whether AFMD is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as Affimed’s financial health and performance track record. I urge you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for AFMD’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for AFMD’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has AFMD 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 AFMD’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.