If you own shares in Bel Fuse Inc. (NASDAQ:BELF.B) 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. 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 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. 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.
What BELF.B’s beta value tells investors
Given that it has a beta of 1.52, we can surmise that the Bel Fuse share price has been fairly sensitive to market volatility (over the last 5 years). If this beta value holds true in the future, Bel Fuse 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 Bel Fuse is growing earnings and revenue. You can take a look for yourself, below.
How does BELF.B’s size impact its beta?
With a market capitalisation of US$242m, Bel Fuse 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 Bel Fuse 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 BELF.B is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as Bel Fuse’s financial health and performance track record. I highly recommend you dive deeper by considering the following:
- Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for BELF.B’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for BELF.B’s outlook.
- Past Track Record: Has BELF.B 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 BELF.B’s historicals for more clarity.
- Other Interesting Stocks: It’s worth checking to see how BELF.B measures up against other companies on valuation. You could start with this free list of prospective options.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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