Anyone researching Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BLCM) 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 other type, which cannot be diversified away, is the volatility of the entire market. Every stock in the market is exposed to this volatility, which is linked to the fact that stocks prices are correlated in an efficient market.
Some stocks mimic the volatility of the market quite closely, while others demonstrate muted, exagerrated or uncorrelated price movements. Beta is a widely used metric to measure a stock’s exposure to market risk (volatility). Before we go on, it’s worth noting that Warren Buffett pointed out in his 2014 letter to shareholders that ‘volatility is far from synonymous with risk.’ Having said that, beta can still be rather useful. The first thing to understand about beta is that the beta of the overall market is 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.
What we can learn from BLCM’s beta value
Given that it has a beta of 1.46, we can surmise that the Bellicum Pharmaceuticals share price has been fairly sensitive to market volatility (over the last 5 years). If this beta value holds true in the future, Bellicum Pharmaceuticals 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 Bellicum Pharmaceuticals’s revenue and earnings in the image below.
Could BLCM’s size cause it to be more volatile?
Bellicum Pharmaceuticals is a rather small company. It has a market capitalisation of US$51m, which means it is probably under the radar of most investors. Relatively few investors can influence the price of a smaller company, compared to a large company. This could explain the high beta value, in this case.
What this means for you:
Since Bellicum Pharmaceuticals 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. This article aims to educate investors about beta values, but it’s well worth looking at important company-specific fundamentals such as Bellicum Pharmaceuticals’s financial health and performance track record. I highly recommend you dive deeper by considering the following:
- Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for BLCM’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for BLCM’s outlook.
- Past Track Record: Has BLCM 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 BLCM’s historicals for more clarity.
- Other Interesting Stocks: It’s worth checking to see how BLCM measures up against other companies on valuation. You could start with this free list of prospective options.
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If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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.