One Thing To Consider Before Buying BSQUARE Corporation (NASDAQ:BSQR)

If you are looking to invest in BSQUARE Corporation’s (NASDAQ:BSQR), or currently own the stock, then you need to understand its beta in order to understand how it can affect the risk of your portfolio. Broadly speaking, there are two types of risk you should consider when investing in stocks such as BSQR. The first risk to consider is company-specific, which can be diversified away when you invest in other companies in the same industry as BSQR, because it is rare that an entire industry collapses at once. The second type is market risk, one that you cannot diversify away, since it arises from macroeconomic factors which directly affects all the stocks in the market.

Not all stocks are expose to the same level of market risk. A popular measure of market risk for a stock is its beta, and the market as a whole represents a beta value of one. Any stock with a beta of greater than one is considered more volatile than the market, and those with a beta less than one is generally less volatile.

See our latest analysis for BSQUARE

What does BSQR’s beta value mean?

BSQUARE has a beta of 1.8, which means that the percentage change in its stock value will be higher than the entire market in times of booms and busts. A high level of beta means investors face higher risk associated with potential gains and losses driven by market movements. Based on this beta value, BSQR 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.

NasdaqGM:BSQR Income Statement May 15th 18
NasdaqGM:BSQR Income Statement May 15th 18

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

A market capitalisation of US$52.03M puts BSQR in the category of small-cap stocks, which tends to possess higher beta than larger companies. Moreover, BSQR’s industry, software, is considered to be cyclical, which means it is more volatile than the market over the economic cycle. So, investors should expect a larger beta for smaller companies operating in a cyclical industry in contrast with lower beta for larger firms in a more defensive industry. This supports our interpretation of BSQR’s beta value discussed above. Next, we will examine the fundamental factors which can cause cyclicality in the stock.

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

During times of economic downturn, low demand may cause companies to readjust production of their goods and services. It is more difficult for companies to lower their cost, if the majority of these costs are generated by fixed assets. Therefore, this is a type of risk which is associated with higher beta. I examine BSQR’s ratio of fixed assets to total assets to see whether the company is highly exposed to the risk of this type of constraint. Given that fixed assets make up less than a third of the company’s total assets, BSQR doesn’t rely heavily upon these expensive, inflexible assets to run its business during downturns. Thus, we can expect BSQR 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 BSQR’s actual beta value suggests, which is higher stock volatility relative to the market.

What this means for you:

You could benefit from higher returns during times of economic growth by holding onto BSQR. Its low fixed cost also means that, in terms of operating leverage, it is relatively flexible during times of economic downturns. In order to fully understand whether BSQR is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as BSQUARE’s financial health and performance track record. I urge you to complete your research by taking a look at the following:

  1. Financial Health: Is 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.