Before You Buy Minerva Neurosciences Inc (NASDAQ:NERV), Consider Its Volatility

If you own shares in Minerva Neurosciences Inc (NASDAQ:NERV) then it’s worth thinking about how it contributes to the volatility of your portfolio, overall. In finance, Beta is a measure of volatility. 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 are more sensitive to general market forces than others. 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 Minerva Neurosciences

What does NERV’s beta value mean to investors?

Given that it has a beta of 1.62, we can surmise that the Minerva Neurosciences share price has been fairly sensitive to market volatility (over the last 5 years). If this beta value holds true in the future, Minerva Neurosciences shares are likely to rise more than the market when the market is going up, but fall faster when the market is going down. Beta is worth considering, but it’s also important to consider whether Minerva Neurosciences is growing earnings and revenue. You can take a look for yourself, below.

NasdaqGM:NERV Income Statement Export December 5th 18
NasdaqGM:NERV Income Statement Export December 5th 18

How does NERV’s size impact its beta?

With a market capitalisation of US$313m, Minerva Neurosciences is a very small company by global standards. It is quite likely to be unknown to most investors. 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:

Since Minerva Neurosciences tends to moves up when the market is going up, and down when it’s going down, potential investors may wish to reflect on the overall market, when considering the stock. This article aims to educate investors about beta values, but it’s well worth looking at important company-specific fundamentals such as Minerva Neurosciences’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 NERV’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for NERV’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has NERV 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 NERV’s historicals for more clarity.
  3. Other Interesting Stocks: It’s worth checking to see how NERV measures up against other companies on valuation. You could start with this free list of prospective options.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.