Is BSQUARE Corporation (NASDAQ:BSQR) A Volatile Stock?

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If you’re interested in BSQUARE Corporation (NASDAQ:BSQR), 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. Volatility is considered to be a measure of risk in modern finance theory. Investors may think of volatility as falling into two main categories. 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 see their prices move in concert with the market. Others tend towards stronger, gentler or unrelated 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.

See our latest analysis for BSQUARE

What we can learn from BSQR’s beta value

Given that it has a beta of 1.99, we can surmise that the BSQUARE share price has been fairly sensitive to market volatility (over the last 5 years). If this beta value holds true in the future, BSQUARE 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 BSQUARE is growing earnings and revenue. You can take a look for yourself, below.

NASDAQGM:BSQR Income Statement Export February 8th 19
NASDAQGM:BSQR Income Statement Export February 8th 19

Does BSQR’s size influence the expected beta?

BSQUARE is a rather small company. It has a market capitalisation of US$27m, 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:

Beta only tells us that the BSQUARE 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. This article aims to educate investors about beta values, but it’s well worth looking at important company-specific fundamentals such as BSQUARE’s financial health and performance track record. I urge you to continue your research by taking a look at the following:

  1. Financial Health: Are BSQR’s operations financially sustainable? Balance sheets can be hard to analyze, which is why we’ve done it for you. Check out our financial health checks here.
  2. Past Track Record: Has BSQR 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 BSQR’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.

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.