If you own shares in 8×8, Inc. (NYSE:EGHT) 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 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 are more sensitive to general market forces than others. 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.
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What we can learn from EGHT’s beta value
Zooming in on 8×8, we see it has a five year beta of 0.83. This is below 1, so historically its share price has been rather independent from the market. This means that — if history is a guide — buying the stock would reduce the impact of overall market volatility in many portfolios (depending on the beta of the portfolio, of course). 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 8×8’s revenue and earnings in the image below.
Could EGHT’s size cause it to be more volatile?
8×8 is a small company, but not tiny and little known. It has a market capitalisation of US$1.9b, which means it would be on the radar of intstitutional 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 8×8 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. This article aims to educate investors about beta values, but it’s well worth looking at important company-specific fundamentals such as 8×8’s financial health and performance track record. I urge you to continue your research by taking a look at the following:
- Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for EGHT’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for EGHT’s outlook.
- Past Track Record: Has EGHT 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 EGHT’s historicals for more clarity.
- Other Interesting Stocks: It’s worth checking to see how EGHT 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.