If you're interested in Dycom Industries, Inc. (NYSE:DY), then you might want to consider its beta (a measure of share price volatility) in order to understand how the stock could impact your portfolio. Modern finance theory considers volatility to be a measure of risk, and there are two main types of price volatility. 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 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 below one is either less volatile than the market, or more volatile but not corellated with the overall market. In comparison a stock with a beta of over one tends to be move in a similar direction to the market in the long term, but with greater changes in price.
What DY's beta value tells investors
Given that it has a beta of 1.45, we can surmise that the Dycom Industries share price has been fairly sensitive to market volatility (over the last 5 years). If the past is any guide, we would expect that Dycom Industries shares will rise quicker than the markets in times of optimism, but fall faster in times of pessimism. Beta is worth considering, but it's also important to consider whether Dycom Industries is growing earnings and revenue. You can take a look for yourself, below.
Does DY's size influence the expected beta?
With a market capitalisation of US$1.5b, Dycom Industries is a small cap stock. However, it is big enough to catch the attention of professional investors. It has a relatively high beta, which is not unusual among small-cap stocks. Because it takes less capital to move the share price of a smaller company, actively traded small-cap stocks often have a higher beta that a similar large-cap stock.
What this means for you:
Since Dycom Industries 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 Dycom Industries’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 DY’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for DY’s outlook.
- Past Track Record: Has DY 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 DY's historicals for more clarity.
- Other Interesting Stocks: It's worth checking to see how DY measures up against other companies on valuation. You could start with this free list of prospective options.
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If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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.