Is SPS Commerce, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPSC) A Volatile Stock?

If you own shares in SPS Commerce, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPSC) then it’s worth thinking about how it contributes to the volatility of your portfolio, overall. In finance, Beta is a measure of volatility. Volatility is considered to be a measure of risk in modern finance theory. Investors may think of volatility as falling into two main categories. The first type is company specific volatility. Investors use diversification across uncorrelated stocks to reduce this kind of price volatility across the portfolio. The other type, which cannot be diversified away, is the volatility of the entire market. Every stock in the market is exposed to this volatility, which is linked to the fact that stocks prices are correlated in an efficient market.

Some stocks see their prices move in concert with the market. Others tend towards stronger, gentler or unrelated price movements. Beta is a widely used metric to measure a stock’s exposure to market risk (volatility). Before we go on, it’s worth noting that Warren Buffett pointed out in his 2014 letter to shareholders that ‘volatility is far from synonymous with risk.’ Having said that, beta can still be rather useful. The first thing to understand about beta is that the beta of the overall market is 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 SPS Commerce

What does SPSC’s beta value mean to investors?

Given that it has a beta of 0.81, we can surmise that the SPS Commerce share price has not been strongly impacted by broader market volatility (over the last 5 years). If history is a good guide, owning the stock should help ensure that your portfolio is not overly sensitive to market volatility. Share price volatility is well worth considering, but most long term investors consider the history of revenue and earnings growth to be more important. Take a look at how SPS Commerce fares in that regard, below.

NasdaqGS:SPSC Income Statement, April 23rd 2019
NasdaqGS:SPSC Income Statement, April 23rd 2019

How does SPSC’s size impact its beta?

With a market capitalisation of US$1.8b, SPS Commerce is a small cap stock. However, it is big enough to catch the attention of professional investors. Small companies can have a low beta value when company specific factors outweigh the influence of overall market volatility. That might be happening here.

What this means for you:

One potential advantage of owning low beta stocks like SPS Commerce is that your overall portfolio won’t be too sensitive to overall market movements. However, this can be a blessing or a curse, depending on what’s happening in the broader market. In order to fully understand whether SPSC is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as SPS Commerce’s financial health and performance track record. I urge you to continue your research by taking a look at the following:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for SPSC’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for SPSC’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has SPSC 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 SPSC’s historicals for more clarity.
  3. Other Interesting Stocks: It’s worth checking to see how SPSC 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.