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Low Beta Stocks

Beta is the result of a calculation that measures the relative volatility of a stock in correlation to a particular standard. For U.S. stocks that standard is usually, but not always, the S&P 500. Beta is a form of regression analysis and it can be useful for investors regardless of their risk tolerance. Beta is considered one of the few data points that can be beneficial for practitioners of fundamental analysis and technical analysis. This page lists stocks that have unusually low beta calculations, meaning there is little correlation between the price moves of these stocks and the S&P 500. Learn more.

Country:
Market Cap:
CompanyBetaPE RatioMarket CapCurrent PricePrice ChangeVolumeAverage VolumeIndicator(s)
Tootsie Roll Industries logo
TR
Tootsie Roll Industries
0.0132.38$2.24 billion$32.86flat157,200197,691
eHealth logo
EHTH
eHealth
0.0337.12$2.69 billion$110.98+3.1%416,237823,418
POLYMETAL INTL/S logo
AUCOY
POLYMETAL INTL/S
0.0515.92$9.48 billion$19.90-1.3%2,0571,775Analyst Report
GSAH
GS ACQUISITION /SH CL A
0.07126.19$767.63 million$13.88+0.4%2.08 million1.79 million
CYAGF
Oriental Land
0.0752.23$5.99 billion$47.53flat30High Trading Volume
UNICY
UNICHARM CORP/S
0.0854.59$26.64 billion$9.28+2.1%87,882281,612Analyst Revision
Vonage logo
VG
Vonage
0.1034.50$2.37 billion$11.04-3.1%2.15 million3.95 million
SSMXY
SYSMEX CORP/ADR
0.1143.86$15.49 billion$37.28+0.5%10,80025,567
Public Storage logo
PSA
Public Storage
0.1226.58$33.80 billion$195.37flat555,7001.16 millionAnalyst Report
Decrease in Short Interest
Chunghwa Telecom logo
CHT
Chunghwa Telecom
0.1227.60$29.59 billion$37.81-0.3%108,586133,025
REMY COINTREAU/ADR logo
REMYY
REMY COINTREAU/ADR
0.1252.96$7.21 billion$14.30-2.1%11,6438,313Analyst Report
Heavy News Reporting
Weis Markets logo
WMK
Weis Markets
0.1215.93$1.29 billion$47.46flat93,100133,046
China Resources Beer Holdings CoLtd logo
CRHKY
China Resources Beer Holdings CoLtd
0.1291.17$17.75 billion$10.94flat0764
Nippon Telegraph & Telephone logo
NTTYY
Nippon Telegraph & Telephone
0.1211.42$86.97 billion$23.30+0.8%143,300207,571
J M Smucker logo
SJM
J M Smucker
0.1315.14$11.95 billion$103.39flat642,4001.12 millionIncrease in Short Interest
Horiba logo
HRIBF
Horiba
0.1316.48$2.02 billion$54.40-5.9%700350High Trading Volume
Employers logo
EIG
Employers
0.1413.69$872.77 million$28.89flat235,600224,438
IMI PLC/S logo
IMIAY
IMI PLC/S
0.1412.20$3.09 billion$22.70flat994273High Trading Volume
AmeriCold Realty Trust logo
COLD
AmeriCold Realty Trust
0.1496.71$7.42 billion$36.75-0.7%867,1522.08 millionAnalyst Downgrade
Heavy News Reporting
IIPZF
Interrent Real Estate Investment Trust
0.154.20$1.44 billion$10.50flat0466
York Water logo
YORW
York Water
0.1638.62$605.16 million$46.34+2.4%49,34652,212Analyst Downgrade
Hershey logo
HSY
Hershey
0.1624.15$26.43 billion$127.75+0.8%661,4151.26 millionIncrease in Short Interest
Hawaiian Electric Industries logo
HE
Hawaiian Electric Industries
0.1618.80$3.91 billion$35.54flat320,500612,126
DEMANT A S/ADR logo
WILYY
DEMANT A S/ADR
0.1629.07$6.30 billion$13.08flat80112
Glanbia logo
GLAPY
Glanbia
0.1611.70$3.41 billion$57.66flat012Analyst Downgrade
Spire logo
SR
Spire
0.1722.22$3.29 billion$65.55+3.7%273,686306,359
Atrion logo
ATRI
Atrion
0.1732.45$1.17 billion$631.08flat3,6007,032
WEC Energy Group logo
WEC
WEC Energy Group
0.1723.93$27.99 billion$88.05+0.7%1.33 million1.89 million
KDDIY
KDDI CORP/ADR
0.1712.02$71.13 billion$15.39+1.7%52,025186,018
Unitil logo
UTL
Unitil
0.1720.23$660.15 million$44.71+2.2%40,92571,532
SEVEN & I HOLDI/ADR logo
SVNDY
SEVEN & I HOLDI/ADR
0.1713.77$28.28 billion$15.70-1.4%156,179103,593Analyst Downgrade
LPRO
HL Acquisitions
0.18120.93$1.45 billion$15.72flat313,000541,500
Alliant Energy logo
LNT
Alliant Energy
0.1825.00$12.33 billion$48.25flat1.35 million1.71 millionDividend Announcement
Heavy News Reporting
CMS Energy logo
CMS
CMS Energy
0.1823.79$17.00 billion$59.47+0.8%1.92 million2.36 millionAnalyst Report
Fresnillo logo
FNLPF
Fresnillo
0.1851.46$8.70 billion$11.84+0.3%16,09814,632Heavy News Reporting
Extra Space Storage logo
EXR
Extra Space Storage
0.1828.59$12.35 billion$95.210.0%429,6001.14 millionAnalyst Report
Shenandoah Telecommunications logo
SHEN
Shenandoah Telecommunications
0.1944.71$2.47 billion$48.73flat123,000218,398
Consolidated Edison logo
ED
Consolidated Edison
0.1918.48$24.20 billion$71.71flat1.70 million2.35 millionHeavy News Reporting
DIGITAL RLTY TR/SH logo
DLR
DIGITAL RLTY TR/SH
0.1952.83$39.71 billion$147.39+0.2%1.73 million2.96 millionInsider Selling
FUJIFILM Holdings Co. American Depositary Shares logo
FUJIY
FUJIFILM Holdings Co. American Depositary Shares
0.2015.13$17.47 billion$42.67-1.5%20,60060,136Heavy News Reporting
American Water Works logo
AWK
American Water Works
0.2038.22$23.85 billion$133.39+2.1%715,6821.20 millionIncrease in Short Interest
DWHHF
Deutsche Wohnen
0.209.36$16.43 billion$45.66flat01,196
NextEra Energy logo
NEE
NextEra Energy
0.2135.96$123.96 billion$259.60+3.0%2.52 million2.79 million
Cabot Oil & Gas logo
COG
Cabot Oil & Gas
0.2114.81$6.79 billion$17.03-0.1%3.64 million8.57 millionAnalyst Revision
Core-Mark logo
CORE
Core-Mark
0.2218.18$1.07 billion$23.81flat226,000302,618Analyst Upgrade
TRUMY
TERUMO CORP/ADR
0.2235.82$28.37 billion$36.89-0.8%3,82721,732
Sprouts Farmers Market logo
SFM
Sprouts Farmers Market
0.2215.51$2.89 billion$24.35-0.7%1.85 million2.49 millionAnalyst Downgrade
Increase in Short Interest
Heavy News Reporting
HCP logo
HCP
HCP
0.2214.76$13.19 billion$26.86+0.0%4.30 million2.80 million
Swisscom logo
SCMWY
Swisscom
0.2215.85$27.09 billion$52.13-0.3%6,16711,101Heavy News Reporting
Barrick Gold logo
GOLD
Barrick Gold
0.2211.25$49.06 billion$27.11-1.7%11.54 million18.99 million
K12 logo
LRN
K12
0.2259.53$1.41 billion$33.93+4.6%1.06 million596,687Analyst Downgrade
Increase in Short Interest
Fortis logo
FTS
Fortis
0.2217.96$17.52 billion$37.72flat845,200535,946Analyst Upgrade
Increase in Short Interest
Cogent Communications logo
CCOI
Cogent Communications
0.2399.83$3.83 billion$81.86flat240,800393,155Decrease in Short Interest
SOMLY
SECOM LTD/ADR
0.2325.02$20.37 billion$21.52+0.6%8,16222,853
Lancaster Colony logo
LANC
Lancaster Colony
0.2330.20$4.31 billion$153.12flat131,800171,826
FTI Consulting logo
FCN
FTI Consulting
0.2420.13$4.17 billion$111.30-2.3%541,757461,928
FBAK
First National Bank Alaska
0.2410.52$586.04 million$186.85+1.0%320247Heavy News Reporting
B&G Foods logo
BGS
B&G Foods
0.2418.36$1.55 billion$24.97+2.1%638,4661.64 millionAnalyst Revision
Heavy News Reporting
Ameren logo
AEE
Ameren
0.2523.59$18.50 billion$74.54+1.2%1.19 million1.93 millionAnalyst Report
Internet Initiative Japan logo
IIJIY
Internet Initiative Japan
0.2541.61$1.55 billion$17.06-0.8%6402,942Analyst Downgrade
Heavy News Reporting
AngloGold Ashanti logo
AU
AngloGold Ashanti
0.2534.56$13.02 billion$31.45flat3.86 million3.83 million
Middlesex Water logo
MSEX
Middlesex Water
0.2631.04$1.12 billion$63.64+1.8%51,61470,101Analyst Downgrade
Heavy News Reporting
Southwest Gas logo
SWX
Southwest Gas
0.2619.77$3.76 billion$68.99+3.0%345,430450,517Heavy News Reporting
Exponent logo
EXPO
Exponent
0.2648.88$4.07 billion$78.21+0.6%176,123294,649Analyst Downgrade
Koninklijke Ahold logo
ADRNY
Koninklijke Ahold
0.2613.63$30.10 billion$27.25-1.3%60,800197,218
CHYCY
Casio Computer
0.265.47$694.03 million$2.68flat056
ONE Gas logo
OGS
ONE Gas
0.2621.35$3.99 billion$74.07flat220,600327,087Increase in Short Interest
ANA HOLDINGS IN/S logo
ALNPY
ANA HOLDINGS IN/S
0.267.64$7.41 billion$4.47+2.1%1264,319
Exelon logo
EXC
Exelon
0.2611.74$36.14 billion$36.62flat5.43 million6.65 million
Eli Lilly And Co logo
LLY
Eli Lilly And Co
0.2627.00$159.19 billion$163.36-1.9%2.25 million4.25 millionInsider Selling
ROTORK PLC/ADR logo
RTOXY
ROTORK PLC/ADR
0.2722.00$3.17 billion$14.52+25.7%1,40070High Trading Volume
SJW Group logo
SJW
SJW Group
0.2788.38$1.76 billion$60.98flat208,300139,784
Equity Commonwealth logo
EQC
Equity Commonwealth
0.275.61$3.80 billion$31.24flat464,300937,863
Chesapeake Utilities logo
CPK
Chesapeake Utilities
0.2721.31$1.37 billion$84.60+2.7%59,42675,532Decrease in Short Interest
Heavy News Reporting
Luxottica Group logo
LUXTY
Luxottica Group
0.2724.37$27.07 billion$55.80flat2,99811,391Heavy News Reporting
Clorox logo
CLX
Clorox
0.2733.69$28.95 billion$229.76+0.1%892,8352.00 millionAnalyst Report
Decrease in Short Interest
FBL Financial Group logo
FFG
FBL Financial Group
0.279.70$855.78 million$35.01+5.0%67,16338,321
CoreSite Realty logo
COR
CoreSite Realty
0.2861.71$4.71 billion$122.81-1.2%195,566455,194Analyst Upgrade
COLOPLAST A/S/ADR logo
CLPBY
COLOPLAST A/S/ADR
0.2857.45$35.10 billion$16.09-1.0%30,29779,693
Walmart logo
WMT
Walmart
0.2824.84$362.01 billion$130.68+2.3%14.74 million9.52 millionAnalyst Report
Insider Selling
Unusual Options Activity
NiSource logo
NI
NiSource
0.2847.81$8.95 billion$22.95flat2.89 million3.62 million
CubeSmart logo
CUBE
CubeSmart
0.2830.42$5.37 billion$27.38-0.1%855,3511.83 million
Avangrid logo
AGR
Avangrid
0.2818.72$13.28 billion$43.80+3.0%748,285730,159Decrease in Short Interest
Agree Realty logo
ADC
Agree Realty
0.2932.78$3.44 billion$62.93flat670,500690,950
Lindsay logo
LNN
Lindsay
0.2940.23$999.72 million$94.54+4.1%114,25289,324Dividend Announcement
Analyst Revision
T-Mobile Us logo
TMUS
T-Mobile Us
0.3026.30$148.34 billion$107.05+0.8%4.56 million6.65 millionAnalyst Report
Decrease in Short Interest
CRPJY
CHINA RESOURES/ADR
0.306.95$5.84 billion$18.20flat30397
Black Hills logo
BKH
Black Hills
0.3018.48$3.63 billion$56.72flat421,100432,503
Stamps.com logo
STMP
Stamps.com
0.3062.57$3.49 billion$209.60+0.1%165,477479,956Insider Selling
WJRYY
WEST JAPAN RWY/S
0.308.59$10.07 billion$50.26-1.6%11,79112,736Heavy News Reporting
CME Group logo
CME
CME Group
0.3024.71$60.27 billion$164.59-0.6%1.96 million2.19 millionAnalyst Report
Analyst Revision
Heavy News Reporting
John B. Sanfilippo & Son logo
JBSS
John B. Sanfilippo & Son
0.3117.11$960.37 million$81.97flat52,40086,657Heavy News Reporting
RLI logo
RLI
RLI
0.3153.18$3.48 billion$75.52flat177,400268,023Insider Selling
Decrease in Short Interest
Analyst Revision
BCMXY
BK COMMUNICATIO/ADR
0.314.08$44.14 billion$14.86+1.9%100721
Duke Energy logo
DUK
Duke Energy
0.3116.07$59.02 billion$81.32+2.0%2.55 million4.06 millionDividend Increase
ACA
Arcosa
0.3116.18$1.90 billion$38.99+3.5%169,684350,485
Atmos Energy logo
ATO
Atmos Energy
0.3121.28$12.13 billion$97.69flat818,9001.03 million
Portland General Electric logo
POR
Portland General Electric
0.3116.98$3.71 billion$42.11+3.9%551,494768,161
Otter Tail logo
OTTR
Otter Tail
0.3217.64$1.54 billion$37.39flat129,400133,214Analyst Downgrade
Decrease in Short Interest
Heavy News Reporting
ALLETE logo
ALE
ALLETE
0.3216.08$2.91 billion$56.28flat617,400390,454
Last Updated: Friday, 06:26 PM ET. Prices are 15-minutes delayed.

What Are Low Beta Stocks

Many retail investors assume that you can’t predict the stock market. And since you can’t predict it, they assume that investing in stocks carries a certain amount of risk. Well, as it turns out, there is a way to assess the risk of a particular security: it’s called beta. Low beta stocks are those securities that carry the lowest amount of risk.

How to Use Low Beta Stocks to Minimize Risk and Increase Returns

Beta is essentially a measure of a stock’s volatility. Risk level is one of the most important stats to analyze in terms of investing in stocks. A comparison of a stock’s risk factor to your own level of risk tolerance will help you know whether to buy, sell, or avoid a certain security. Beta is the number that will help you understand a stock’s level of risk and make those decisions.

What Is the Beta of a Stock?

In the simplest terms, beta is a tool that compares how volatile a stock is in comparison to the overall market. The stock market is the “control” and has a definitive benchmark beta of 1.0, while each individual security is the “variable,” with a beta that varies in terms of how much the stock moves around.

A stock that is more volatile than the market has a beta of more than 1.0, while a stock that is less volatile than the market has a beta of less than 1.0. If you’re a short-term trader riding the market waves and looking at stock market gainers, stock beta can let you know which securities might be the riskiest—then you can decide whether or not to get involved.

As you can see from this explanation, risky stocks are not the only ones that carry risk. Every one of the individual stocks can be viewed as a risky stock to some degree, even if the degree is negligible. Even in bull markets, when it seems like the sky’s the limit forever, it’s impossible for a stock to mirror the benchmark.

How to Calculate Beta

The beta of a stock is calculated using regression analysis. In short, regression analysis is all about comparing one stable variable with other changing variables. The formula for calculating a stock’s beta is simple in theory—beta is found by dividing covariance by variance.

Covariance represents how similar or dissimilar two numbers are in their movements—in this case, a stock is being compared to the market. Positive numbers indicate that their movement is similar. Negative numbers indicate that their movements are different.

Variance represents how much the “control” variable bounces around in comparison to its mean—its normal state. To keep it short and sweet, a stock’s beta is calculated with the intention of assessing how similar or divergent a stock’s movement is in comparison to the market—and thereby determining its volatility. Beta, in turn, can be worked into a complex equation to create a Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM). This equation helps calculate the expected return of an asset, using its risk-free rate as a starting point (a hypothetical rate of return involving no risk).

Beyond beta, other formulas, such as the Sharpe Ratio—which uses standard deviation—can help investors determine how much additional yield they’ll get for every increase per unit of risk. Then there is tracking error, which helps investors understand how much performance has deviated from the intended benchmark.

As you can see, beta is the gateway stat for an in-depth, computational way of growing equity through leveraging statistical opportunities in the stock market. 

Low Beta Strategy

Low Beta Strategy focuses on investing in securities that have a low beta. These are stocks issued by companies in a sector like consumer goods, food, and utilities. This type of asset tends to avoid wild fluctuations because its line of business is both necessary and consistent. For example, utility companies exert a relative monopoly over their local region and face little competition in their sector.

Low Beta stocks are safer in terms of price when the market is down—they match the market, and don’t wildly plummet while the market is coasting. However, when the market is up, the same logic applies: these stocks gain less than some of their more volatile counterparts.

Some investment strategies actually involving investing in both low and high beta stocks simultaneously. Stocks with a higher beta—which can experience greater price fluctuations—can present opportunities for big gains through short-term trading of these volatility stocks. To offset potential losses, the investor will also buy into stocks with a lower beta and hold onto them for longer periods of time. This statistical arbitrage strategy is referred to as the bet against beta.

How to Reduce Risk in Your Portfolio

Unfortunately, beta is not a catchall indicator that can prevent losing your earnings to risky investments. While beta is a mathematical measure of how volatile a stock is in comparison to the market, it says nothing about other factors, like how a company operates, its debt, or current events that can affect its operations—such as its potential in regard to future earnings.

For example, a company in a stable industry like utilities can be poorly run, on the brink of bankruptcy, and facing a cataclysmic shutdown due to a recent energy-related event—but because it’s historically moved in close tandem with the overall market, it’s beta is low. Doesn’t sound like a good investment, does it?

One way to reduce risk in your portfolio is to diversify your investments. In terms of stocks, this can mean diversifying your portfolio through a range of companies and industries. However, if you want to truly minimize risk, the majority of your portfolio should be invested in stable, established, non-speculative securities, and preferably ones that pay good dividends or offer opportunities for growth.

One of the easiest ways to avoid risk is to invest in mutual funds or ETFs. This type of fund pools money from a number of investors. With a larger amount of money to play with, mutual fund managers can spread it out over a broader range of securities than each individual investor would be able to buy on their own. You can also diversify risk by investing in different types of asset classes. Between stocks, bonds, commodities, real estate, and business ownership, there are a number of vehicles for producing cash flow. A capital asset like a paid-off rental property can even produce free cash flow, unencumbered by expenses (this is every investor’s golden egg).

If your money is diversified, when one of your investments takes a hit, you won’t have to lose all your eggs—you’ve placed them in different baskets. While much ink has been spilled about which type of asset can consistently outperform the others in terms of growth, everyone can agree that at different times one asset outperforms the others; they all carry a degree of historical volatility (even real estate). 

If you do want to pick out which stock comprises your portfolio, another strategy for reducing risk is to invest in established, stable companies—but these companies are stable beyond their beta score. Large blue-chip companies, like those you’ll find in Warren Buffet’s portfolio, have been around for decades. They are well run, well-financed, and have low amounts of debt. Beta says nothing about the degree of competence with which a company is run, although competently-run, long-standing companies usually do have a lower beta score.

Even if you’re trying to avoid too much risk, most financiers would agree that it’s okay to take a small percentage of your portfolio (financial experts such as Benjamin Graham have suggested no more than 5%) and look at cheap stocks to buy. These stocks might be riskier, but they can also provide good returns if they work out. If they don’t, your losses will be marginal.

Is It Smart to Invest in Low Beta Stocks?

While beta is used to analyze risk, it does have some shortcomings. As mentioned, beta is a comparative statistic that says nothing about how a company is run. It’s been described by analysts as a sort of rearview mirror, reflecting what’s behind, but not necessarily what’s ahead (which, by contrast, is very impacted by the degree of managerial competence and current events).

That said, beta can be a good tool for short-game investors looking to minimize risk. For long-term investors, it’s not necessarily that useful.

Moreover, beta is a number that says nothing about a stock’s price movement in terms of whether it’s going up or down. All beta tells you is a stock’s volatility relative to the market. This is especially problematic in light of the fact that investors, especially short-term traders, make their moves based on stock prices. However, in conjunction with other stats that give a more complete picture of a stock and its performance, beta can be a useful tool for assessing a security’s level of risk—for short term investors. Long-term investors will want to get a more complete picture of a company, how it’s run, and its level of debt before making an investment.

Investors should not just look at a stock’s beta, but also examine their own level of risk tolerance. Younger investors building a retirement portfolio can afford to take on more risks. After all, they have decades of investment ahead of them. Older investors nearing retirement want to avoid risk and do what they can to stabilize their portfolio as much as possible since it will become a source of income.

There are many strategies for investing in stocks, and they all depend on the investor's preferred mode of gain. A dividend investing strategy can turn rivulets of pennies into a mighty dividend stream, which is great for investors who want passive income. Day trading is great for investors who are skilled enough to leverage swings in the most volatile stocks at the drop of a hat. Other investors might find themselves somewhere between the long game and the short game, figuring out the best growth stocks to scoop up and sell at a profit weeks or months later.

Institutional investors may make a beta calculation as part of their equity and growth strategy, but it’s not the only tool they leverage for assessing how to respond to systematic risk. They do an in-depth micro and macro analysis of stats like market capitalization and general market volatility. Investors also perform fundamental and financial analysis of a company to consider future growth and dividend yield.

Low Beta Stocks

Beta tells you how risky a stock is by comparing its activity to that of the market. It’s important to combine financial signifiers like beta and even professional analyst ratings with fundamental analysis of a company. Alternatively, you can turn over investment decisions to a money manager.

Assessing the balance between risk and reward as it relates to financial gain is the bread and butter of short-term trading. But if short-term trading is not for you, you may consider other strategies such as searching for dividend-paying stocks, the snowballing equity of which can be rolled back into more dividend stocks. Retail investors can also piggyback invest by mimicking the portfolio of established investors with a track record of success. These strategies can be a much easier way for the average investor to increase their stock market earnings than attempting to leverage stock market beta. However, if you are looking to leverage short positions through day trading or similarly short-term asset growth, beta can be a useful tool for determining the risk of a particular security.


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