Hersha Hospitality Trust (NYSE:HT): What Does Its Beta Value Mean For Your Portfolio?

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If you’re interested in Hersha Hospitality Trust (NYSE:HT), then you might want to consider its beta (a measure of share price volatility) in order to understand how the stock could impact your portfolio. Modern finance theory considers volatility to be a measure of risk, and there are two main types of price volatility. The first category is company specific volatility. This can be dealt with by limiting your exposure to any particular stock. 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 mimic the volatility of the market quite closely, while others demonstrate muted, exagerrated or uncorrelated 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.

Check out our latest analysis for Hersha Hospitality Trust

What HT’s beta value tells investors

Zooming in on Hersha Hospitality Trust, we see it has a five year beta of 1.41. This is above 1, so historically its share price has been influenced by the broader volatility of the stock market the market. Based on this history, investors should be aware that Hersha Hospitality Trust are likely to rise strongly in times of greed, but sell off in times of fear. 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 Hersha Hospitality Trust’s revenue and earnings in the image below.

NYSE:HT Income Statement Export February 8th 19
NYSE:HT Income Statement Export February 8th 19

Does HT’s size influence the expected beta?

Hersha Hospitality Trust is a small cap stock with a market capitalisation of US$807m. Most companies this size are actively traded. It’s not particularly surprising that it has a higher beta than the overall market. That’s because it takes less money to influence the share price of a smaller company, than a bigger company.

What this means for you:

Beta only tells us that the Hersha Hospitality Trust 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. In order to fully understand whether HT is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as Hersha Hospitality Trust’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 HT’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for HT’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has HT 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 HT’s historicals for more clarity.
  3. Other Interesting Stocks: It’s worth checking to see how HT 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.