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.

CompanyBetaPE RatioMarket CapCurrent PricePrice ChangeVolumeAverage VolumeIndicator(s)
Employers logo
0.016.83$1.17 billion$41.06-3.8%216,325179,065
Mandom logo
0.0235.58$1.19 billion$24.55flat0N/AUpcoming Earnings
High Trading Volume
Increase in Short Interest
News Coverage
American States Water logo
American States Water
0.0332.47$2.96 billion$80.21flat278,508188,835Gap Up
Unicharm logo
0.0461.31$23.67 billion$7.97flat93,605192,441Upcoming Earnings
GCM Grosvenor logo
GCM Grosvenor
0.0521.33$1.95 billion$10.45flat3.41 million584,588Analyst Revision
News Coverage
Gap Down
Paya logo
0.0522.63$1.38 billion$10.86flat1.67 million1.29 million
Chunghwa Telecom logo
Chunghwa Telecom
0.0627.05$31.68 billion$40.84flat431,57896,547High Trading Volume
News Coverage
IHI logo
0.0728.48$3.69 billion$5.98flat51,525Analyst Upgrade
FBL Financial Group logo
FBL Financial Group
0.0814.59$1.49 billion$60.99+0.0%2,42669,961
KDDI logo
0.0811.60$72.17 billion$15.66flat85,411118,352Upcoming Earnings
Decrease in Short Interest
News Coverage
Public Storage logo
Public Storage
0.0844.53$52.21 billion$298.36flat2.01 million782,737High Trading Volume
Analyst Revision
Atrion logo
0.0935.57$1.10 billion$600.00flat15,6397,395High Trading Volume
News Coverage
Gap Up
Weis Markets logo
Weis Markets
0.0911.84$1.38 billion$51.25flat186,851106,211News Coverage
Digital Realty Trust logo
Digital Realty Trust
0.09100.13$43.42 billion$154.20flat4.17 million1.56 millionInsider Selling
High Trading Volume
California Water Service Group logo
California Water Service Group
0.1024.37$2.85 billion$56.06flat380,331211,215News Coverage
Gap Up
Arko logo
0.1368.00$1.18 billion$9.52flat984,710537,734Decrease in Short Interest
Gap Up
Cabot Oil & Gas logo
Cabot Oil & Gas
0.1319.91$6.12 billion$15.33flat14.82 million7.50 millionAnalyst Report
Gap Up
Internet Initiative Japan logo
Internet Initiative Japan
0.1356.99$2.72 billion$29.06flat1061,792Upcoming Earnings
Decrease in Short Interest
Cogent Communications logo
Cogent Communications
0.14227.80$3.68 billion$77.45flat511,804308,969
0.1416.55$29.00 billion$70.84flat32,41313,649High Trading Volume
Decrease in Short Interest
Citrix Systems logo
Citrix Systems
0.1535.31$14.38 billion$115.81flat2.07 million1.26 million
Southwest Gas logo
Southwest Gas
0.1513.03$3.67 billion$63.19flat820,160481,578Gap Up
Consolidated Edison logo
Consolidated Edison
0.1621.97$25.55 billion$74.49flat3.83 million2.44 millionGap Up
Lancaster Colony logo
Lancaster Colony
0.1737.35$5.27 billion$191.24flat147,16992,176Analyst Report
News Coverage
Swisscom logo
0.1715.44$29.75 billion$57.43flat4,90311,849
NextEra Energy logo
NextEra Energy
0.1734.69$143.73 billion$73.28flat17.54 million8.64 millionInsider Selling
High Trading Volume
Extra Space Storage logo
Extra Space Storage
0.1736.23$21.32 billion$159.41flat1.36 million774,919Analyst Report
Analyst Revision
News Coverage
John B. Sanfilippo & Son logo
John B. Sanfilippo & Son
0.1817.90$1.02 billion$89.32flat75,78245,298News Coverage
Gap Up
NASB Financial logo
NASB Financial
0.183.85$510.74 million$69.00flat1,049520High Trading Volume
News Coverage
CMS Energy logo
CMS Energy
0.1819.37$16.82 billion$58.12flat3.12 million2.15 million
WEC Energy Group logo
WEC Energy Group
0.1822.53$28.21 billion$89.43flat2.00 million1.32 millionDecrease in Short Interest
Gap Up
Equity Commonwealth logo
Equity Commonwealth
0.19390.48$3.33 billion$27.33flat1.54 million957,524News Coverage
Sumitomo Heavy Industries logo
Sumitomo Heavy Industries
0.1913.93$3.55 billion$7.24flat03Analyst Upgrade
SBA Communications logo
SBA Communications
0.20258.89$34.82 billion$318.44flat982,267721,974Unusual Options Activity
News Coverage
The Clorox logo
The Clorox
0.2024.13$21.51 billion$172.98flat2.75 million1.60 million
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals logo
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals
0.2015.23$57.31 billion$537.92flat914,787921,619
Seven & i logo
Seven & i
0.2023.53$39.54 billion$22.35flat30,23948,556
Sysmex logo
0.2071.95$22.61 billion$53.97flat19,12023,088
The York Water logo
The York Water
0.2138.10$617.57 million$47.24flat103,80934,819High Trading Volume
News Coverage
Gap Up
American Water Works logo
American Water Works
0.2139.78$28.59 billion$157.54flat1.74 million967,149Decrease in Short Interest
Gap Up
Rémy Cointreau logo
Rémy Cointreau
0.2161.61$10.07 billion$20.33+2.0%6,05810,340Gap Up
Amplifon logo
0.2166.43$10.53 billion$46.50flat90057High Trading Volume
Decrease in Short Interest
Avangrid logo
0.2223.50$15.85 billion$51.24flat1.64 million578,823High Trading Volume
Gap Up
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone logo
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone
0.2211.18$98.39 billion$26.16flat97,368132,355Increase in Short Interest
ZTO Express (Cayman) logo
ZTO Express (Cayman)
0.2334.84$17.96 billion$28.92flat20.50 million3.73 millionHigh Trading Volume
News Coverage
Gap Up
Owens & Minor logo
Owens & Minor
0.2328.19$3.28 billion$43.70flat1.95 million1.29 million
Hawaiian Electric Industries logo
Hawaiian Electric Industries
0.2320.07$4.58 billion$41.94flat684,105579,275Decrease in Short Interest
Gap Up
Fresnillo logo
0.2326.36$8.55 billion$11.60flat19,43819,030Upcoming Earnings
News Coverage
CoreSite Realty logo
CoreSite Realty
0.2366.65$5.70 billion$132.64flat3.44 million386,763High Trading Volume
American Tower logo
American Tower
0.2361.70$120.68 billion$265.94flat2.77 million2.11 millionUnusual Options Activity
State Auto Financial logo
State Auto Financial
0.245.66$729.94 million$16.57flat71,22349,741Gap Up
FirstEnergy logo
0.2414.97$20.20 billion$37.13flat6.19 million4.02 million
Premier logo
0.2418.40$4.19 billion$34.23flat1.04 million528,907
National HealthCare logo
National HealthCare
0.2411.76$1.06 billion$68.81flat132,37334,274High Trading Volume
Increase in Short Interest
News Coverage
Gap Up
Eli Lilly and logo
Eli Lilly and
0.2432.67$209.59 billion$218.55flat4.02 million3.96 millionAnalyst Report
Telekom Austria logo
Telekom Austria
0.2513.78$5.95 billion$17.92flat0357Upcoming Earnings
Fortis logo
0.2522.51$21.34 billion$45.46flat483,190393,451Decrease in Short Interest
News Coverage
MonotaRO logo
0.2583.57$11.73 billion$23.40flat6,28916,054
CubeSmart logo
0.2552.69$9.24 billion$45.84flat1.45 million1.08 millionAnalyst Revision
0.2524.54$10.74 billion$47.12flat837,487802,532Analyst Report
Unusual Options Activity
News Coverage
Ameren logo
0.2521.49$20.98 billion$82.11flat2.96 million1.55 millionAnalyst Downgrade
News Coverage
Duke Energy logo
Duke Energy
0.2557.25$76.62 billion$99.61flat5.19 million3.31 millionNews Coverage
Gap Up
Sprouts Farmers Market logo
Sprouts Farmers Market
0.2611.68$3.26 billion$27.57flat2.82 million2.52 million
PLDT logo
0.2611.85$5.73 billion$26.55flat562,278103,451High Trading Volume
American Electric Power logo
American Electric Power
0.2617.90$41.15 billion$82.35flat4.48 million3.03 millionGap Up
Middlesex Water logo
Middlesex Water
0.2639.56$1.47 billion$84.26flat202,312120,279Gap Up
China Shenhua Energy logo
China Shenhua Energy
0.278.33$43.06 billion$8.66flat25,30461,030Upcoming Earnings
News Coverage
Newmont logo
0.2719.63$50.17 billion$62.62flat17.02 million7.12 millionHigh Trading Volume
InterRent Real Estate Investment Trust logo
InterRent Real Estate Investment Trust
0.2710.83$1.80 billion$12.99flat0195
Luxottica Group logo
Luxottica Group
0.2724.37$27.07 billion$55.80+0.4%2,90014,259News Coverage
Gap Down
Mitek Systems logo
Mitek Systems
0.2886.37$818.03 million$19.00flat685,520690,876Analyst Upgrade
Flowers Foods logo
Flowers Foods
0.2821.97$5.02 billion$23.73flat1.89 million1.11 millionUnusual Options Activity
Gap Up
Equinix logo
0.28180.04$73.70 billion$822.77flat3.75 million557,778Analyst Report
High Trading Volume
News Coverage
Spire logo
0.2825.18$3.75 billion$72.52flat421,844316,790Insider Selling
Gap Up
Coloplast A/S logo
Coloplast A/S
0.2857.21$34.60 billion$16.02flat56,900102,603
Polymetal International logo
Polymetal International
0.289.87$10.51 billion$22.20flat2,7406,998
Orange logo
0.296.06$31.42 billion$11.82flat1.44 million655,296High Trading Volume
Xcel Energy logo
Xcel Energy
0.2923.05$35.84 billion$66.60flat4.43 million2.95 millionInsider Selling
Decrease in Short Interest
Gap Up
Barrick Gold logo
Barrick Gold
0.2914.93$36.90 billion$20.75flat30.23 million18.64 millionIncrease in Short Interest
News Coverage
Eversource Energy logo
Eversource Energy
0.2922.14$27.45 billion$79.92flat4.13 million1.56 millionHigh Trading Volume
News Coverage
Gap Up
POLA Orbis logo
POLA Orbis
0.2986.43$4.40 billion$19.88flat0N/AUpcoming Earnings
High Trading Volume
ResMed logo
0.2975.86$34.55 billion$237.44flat1.25 million655,884Analyst Report
Unusual Options Activity
Recordati Industria Chimica e Farmaceutica
0.2927.40$11.76 billion$57.00flat9,00034Upcoming Earnings
High Trading Volume
Increase in Short Interest
Analyst Revision
News Coverage
HealthStream logo
0.3089.14$815.65 million$25.85flat120,952110,864News Coverage
Safety Insurance Group logo
Safety Insurance Group
0.306.72$1.18 billion$78.68flat153,04572,649High Trading Volume
Pinnacle West Capital logo
Pinnacle West Capital
0.3016.44$9.14 billion$81.05flat2.58 million891,675High Trading Volume
Gap Up
Orkla ASA logo
Orkla ASA
0.3019.96$10.18 billion$10.18flat15,03423,479Increase in Short Interest
Secom logo
0.3020.65$17.73 billion$19.00flat40,67724,404
Worldline logo
0.3041.07$11.00 billion$82.56flat011Upcoming Earnings
Cementos Pacasmayo S.A.A. logo
Cementos Pacasmayo S.A.A.
0.3130.80$652.76 million$7.70flat189,99113,636Dividend Increase
Decrease in Short Interest
News Coverage
Gap Up
Exponent logo
0.3152.48$4.49 billion$86.06flat423,333205,765High Trading Volume
Gap Up
NiSource logo
0.3169.50$9.81 billion$25.02flat5.02 million3.94 millionGap Up
Agree Realty logo
Agree Realty
0.3139.51$4.47 billion$69.54flat1.10 million734,775Dividend Announcement
Obayashi logo
0.316.97$6.70 billion$9.34flat1,800N/AUpcoming Earnings
High Trading Volume
Increase in Short Interest
Shimano logo
0.3134.88$21.02 billion$22.67flat50,63755,271Upcoming Earnings
News Coverage
Gap Up
Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize logo
Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize
0.3120.64$30.47 billion$29.11flat35,165109,763
Deutsche Wohnen logo
Deutsche Wohnen
0.3118.33$22.55 billion$62.70flat1051,069Upcoming Earnings
Analyst Downgrade
LEG Immobilien logo
LEG Immobilien
0.319.60$10.96 billion$148.50flat0166Upcoming Earnings
Capitol Federal Financial logo
Capitol Federal Financial
0.3221.20$1.65 billion$11.87flat1.25 million546,696Analyst Upgrade
High Trading Volume
Gap Up
Omega Flex logo
Omega Flex
0.3266.78$1.46 billion$144.25flat40,26812,229High Trading Volume
News Coverage
Gap Down
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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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