Anyone researching China Medical System Holdings Limited (HKG:867) 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 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 mimic the volatility of the market quite closely, while others demonstrate muted, exagerrated or uncorrelated price movements. Some investors use beta as a measure of how much a certain stock is impacted by market risk (volatility). While we should keep in mind that Warren Buffett has cautioned that 'Volatility is far from synonymous with risk', beta is still a useful factor to consider. To make good use of it you must first know that the beta of the overall market is 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 we can learn from 867's beta value
As it happens, China Medical System Holdings has a five year beta of 0.92. This is fairly close to 1, so the stock has historically shown a somewhat similar level of volatility as the market. If the future looks like the past, we could therefore consider it likely that the stock price will experience share price volatility that is roughly similar to the overall market. Beta is worth considering, but it's also important to consider whether China Medical System Holdings is growing earnings and revenue. You can take a look for yourself, below.
How does 867's size impact its beta?
China Medical System Holdings is a fairly large company. It has a market capitalisation of HK$30b, which means it is probably on the radar of most investors. We shouldn't be surprised to see a large company like this with a beta value quite close to the market average. Large companies often move roughly in line with the market. In part, that's because there are fewer individual events that are signficant enough to markedly change the value of the stock (compared to small companies, at least).
What this means for you:
Since China Medical System Holdings has a beta close to one, it will probably show a positive return when the market is moving up, based on history. If you're trying to generate better returns than the market, it would be worth thinking about other metrics such as cashflows, dividends and revenue growth might be a more useful guide to the future. This article aims to educate investors about beta values, but it's well worth looking at important company-specific fundamentals such as China Medical System Holdings’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 867’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for 867’s outlook.
- Past Track Record: Has 867 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 867's historicals for more clarity.
- Other Interesting Stocks: It's worth checking to see how 867 measures up against other companies on valuation. You could start with this free list of prospective options.
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