Why You Need To Look At This Factor Before Buying CalAmp Corp (NASDAQ:CAMP)

Anyone researching CalAmp Corp (NASDAQ:CAMP) might want to consider the historical volatility of the share price. 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 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.

View our latest analysis for CalAmp

What CAMP’s beta value tells investors

Given that it has a beta of 1.75, we can surmise that the CalAmp share price has been fairly sensitive to market volatility (over the last 5 years). Based on this history, investors should be aware that CalAmp are likely to rise strongly in times of greed, but sell off in times of fear. 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 CalAmp fares in that regard, below.

NasdaqGS:CAMP Income Statement Export August 30th 18
NasdaqGS:CAMP Income Statement Export August 30th 18

How does CAMP’s size impact its beta?

CalAmp is a small company, but not tiny and little known. It has a market capitalisation of US$829.8m, which means it would be on the radar of intstitutional investors. It is quite common to see a small-cap stock with a beta greater than one. In part, that’s because relatively few investors can influence the price of a smaller company, compared to a large company.

What this means for you:

Since CalAmp has a reasonably high beta, it’s worth considering why it is so heavily influenced by broader market sentiment. For example, it might be a high growth stock or have a lot of operating leverage in its business model. This article aims to educate investors about beta values, but it’s well worth looking at important company-specific fundamentals such as CalAmp’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 CAMP’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for CAMP’s outlook.
  2. Past Track Record: Has CAMP 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 CAMP’s historicals for more clarity.
  3. Other Interesting Stocks: It’s worth checking to see how CAMP 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 editorial-team@simplywallst.com.