Xenon Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:XENE): What Does Its Beta Value Mean For Your Portfolio?

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If you own shares in Xenon Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:XENE) 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. First, we have company specific volatility, which is the price gyrations of an individual stock. Holding at least 8 stocks can reduce this kind of risk across a portfolio. 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 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. 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.

View our latest analysis for Xenon Pharmaceuticals

What XENE’s beta value tells investors

Zooming in on Xenon Pharmaceuticals, we see it has a five year beta of 1.45. This is above 1, so historically its share price has been influenced by the broader volatility of the stock market. Based on this history, investors should be aware that Xenon Pharmaceuticals are likely to rise strongly in times of greed, but sell off in times of fear. Beta is worth considering, but it’s also important to consider whether Xenon Pharmaceuticals is growing earnings and revenue. You can take a look for yourself, below.

NasdaqGM:XENE Income Statement, June 26th 2019
NasdaqGM:XENE Income Statement, June 26th 2019

Could XENE’s size cause it to be more volatile?

Xenon Pharmaceuticals is a noticeably small company, with a market capitalisation of US$246m. Most companies this size are not always actively traded. 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 Xenon Pharmaceuticals 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 Xenon Pharmaceuticals’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 XENE’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for XENE’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has XENE 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 XENE’s historicals for more clarity.
  3. Other Interesting Stocks: It’s worth checking to see how XENE 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.