One Thing To Consider Before Buying Altaba Inc (NASDAQ:AABA)

For Altaba Inc’s (NASDAQ:AABA) shareholders, and also potential investors in the stock, understanding how the stock’s risk and return characteristics can impact your portfolio is important. There are two types of risks that affect the market value of a listed company such as AABA. The first risk to consider is company-specific, which can be diversified away when you invest in other companies in the same industry as AABA, because it is rare that an entire industry collapses at once. The second risk is market-wide, which arises from investing in the stock market. This risk reflects changes in economic and political factors that affects all stocks.

Not all stocks are expose to the same level 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 considered more sensitive to market-wide shocks compared to a stock that trades below the value of one.

Check out our latest analysis for Altaba

What is AABA’s market risk?

Altaba’s five-year beta of 1.95 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, AABA will help diversify your portfolio, if it currently comprises of low-beta stocks. This will be beneficial for portfolio returns, in particular, when current market sentiment is positive.

NasdaqGS:AABA Income Statement Apr 23rd 18
NasdaqGS:AABA Income Statement Apr 23rd 18

Could AABA’s size and industry cause it to be more volatile?

A market capitalisation of US$58.62B puts AABA in the basket of established companies, which is not a guarantee of low relative risk, though they do tend to experience a lower level of relative risk compared to smaller entities. Conversely, the company operates in the internet industry, which has been found to have high sensitivity to market-wide shocks. As a result, we should expect a low beta for the large-cap nature of AABA but a higher beta for the internet industry. This is an interesting conclusion, since its size suggests AABA should be less volatile than it actually is. A potential driver of this variance can be a fundamental factor, which we will take a look at next.

Is AABA’s cost structure indicative of a high beta?

An asset-heavy company tends to have a higher beta because the risk associated with running fixed assets during a downturn is highly expensive. I examine AABA’s ratio of fixed assets to total assets to see whether the company is highly exposed to the risk of this type of constraint. Considering fixed assets account for less than a third of the company’s overall assets, AABA seems to have a smaller dependency on fixed costs to generate revenue. Thus, we can expect AABA to be more stable in the face of market movements, relative to its peers of similar size but with a higher portion of fixed assets on their books. However, this is the opposite to what AABA’s actual beta value suggests, which is higher stock volatility relative to the market.

What this means for you:

You may reap the gains of AABA’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 AABA. What I have not mentioned in my article here are important company-specific fundamentals such as Altaba’s financial health and performance track record. I highly recommend you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:

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