Before You Buy Intelligent Systems Corporation (NYSEMKT:INS), Consider Its Volatility

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If you own shares in Intelligent Systems Corporation (NYSEMKT:INS) then it’s worth thinking about how it contributes to the volatility of your portfolio, overall. In finance, Beta is a measure of volatility. Modern finance theory considers volatility to be a measure of risk, and there are two main types of price volatility. 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 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 greater than one is more sensitive to broader market movements than a stock with a beta of less than one.

Check out our latest analysis for Intelligent Systems

What we can learn from INS’s beta value

Given that it has a beta of 1.22, we can surmise that the Intelligent Systems share price has been fairly sensitive to market volatility (over the last 5 years). Based on this history, investors should be aware that Intelligent Systems are likely to rise strongly in times of greed, but sell off in times of fear. Beta is worth considering, but it’s also important to consider whether Intelligent Systems is growing earnings and revenue. You can take a look for yourself, below.

AMEX:INS Income Statement Export February 18th 19
AMEX:INS Income Statement Export February 18th 19

How does INS’s size impact its beta?

With a market capitalisation of US$177m, Intelligent Systems is a very small company by global standards. It is quite likely to be unknown to most investors. It has a relatively high beta, suggesting it is fairly actively traded for a company of its size. Because it takes less capital to move the share price of a small company like this, when a stock this size is actively traded it is quite often more sensitive to market volatility than similar large companies.

What this means for you:

Beta only tells us that the Intelligent Systems 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. In order to fully understand whether INS is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as Intelligent Systems’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 INS’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 INS 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 INS’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.

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. On rare occasion, data errors may occur. Thank you for reading.