Anyone researching VolitionRx Limited (NYSEMKT:VNRX) might want to consider the historical volatility of the share price. Modern finance theory considers volatility to be a measure of risk, and there are two main types of price volatility. 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 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 see their prices move in concert with the market. Others tend towards stronger, gentler or unrelated 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. Any stock with a beta of greater than one is considered more volatile than the market, while those with a beta below one are either less volatile or poorly correlated with the market.
What VNRX's beta value tells investors
Looking at the last five years, VolitionRx has a beta of 1.86. The fact that this is well above 1 indicates that its share price movements have shown sensitivity to overall market volatility. If this beta value holds true in the future, VolitionRx 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 VolitionRx is growing earnings and revenue. You can take a look for yourself, below.
Could VNRX's size cause it to be more volatile?
With a market capitalisation of US$185m, VolitionRx is a very small company by global standards. It is quite likely to be unknown to most investors. Relatively few investors can influence the price of a smaller company, compared to a large company. This could explain the high beta value, in this case.
What this means for you:
Beta only tells us that the VolitionRx 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 VNRX is a good investment for you, we also need to consider important company-specific fundamentals such as VolitionRx’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 VNRX’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for VNRX’s outlook.
- Past Track Record: Has VNRX 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 VNRX's historicals for more clarity.
- Other Interesting Stocks: It's worth checking to see how VNRX measures up against other companies on valuation. You could start with this free list of prospective options.
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