More specifically, WACC is the discount rate used when valuing a business or project using the unlevered free cash flow approach. Another way of thinking about WACC is that it is the required rate an investor needs in order to consider investing in the business. 'Unlevering' the beta removes any beneficial or detrimental effects gained by adding debt to the firm's capital structure. To remove the effect of the slight differences in business operations and business risk that are reflected in the asset betas, these asset betas are averaged. A simple arithmetic mean is calculated by adding up the asset betas and then dividing by the number of asset betas being averaged.

The second, and more popular, way is to make a new estimate for β using public company comparables. To use the comparables approach, the β of comparable companies is taken from Bloomberg and the unlevered beta for each company is calculated. When you look up a company’s beta on Bloomberg, the default number you see is levered, and it reflects the debt of that company. Since each company’s capital structure is different, an analyst will often want to look at how “risky” the assets of a company are regardless of the percentage of its debt or equity funding.

When it comes to unlevered beta, you can essentially assume that the company is financed entirely with equity with no debt financing – and all free cash flows (FCFs) belong to the equity holder(s). From the perspective of investors, the beta coefficient is the exposure of an asset (or security) to systematic risk and determines whether it is more or less volatile than the market as a whole. Beta is used as a proxy for a stock's riskiness or volatility relative to the broader market. A good beta will, therefore, rely on your risk tolerance and goals. If you wish to replicate the broader market in your portfolio, for instance via an index ETF, a beta of 1.0 would be ideal.

Beta has been proven to be an asset to investors looking to stave off unnecessary volatility and risk within their portfolio holdings. Some even argue that the beta metric holds more weight than stock value or growth. Using beta without including present-day market accountability can yield wildly inaccurate results. Also manipulating your beta too far left or right can skew data to either extreme. By implementing conservative ranges and sticking to them Investors can mitigate flaws in their valuations.

A negative beta means that the investment or investment portfolio behaves inversely to the broad market. It means that when the broad market performs poorly due to systematic factors, the investment with negative beta generates positive returns and vice versa. One plausible example is that of gold or stocks of companies engaged in exploration or trading of gold.

- The equity beta is the beta which is relevant to the equity shareholders.
- Asset beta helps you identify companies whose core business model is solid but that are struggling with bad capital structure choices.
- From a CAPM point of view, these proxy betas can be used to represent the business risk of the proposed investment project.
- A levered beta greater than positive 1 or less than negative 1 means that it has greater volatility than the market.

While the use of beta is extremely beneficial, there are ways to ruin your valuations if you’re not careful. As an investor, you need to know how to perform the correct calculations, while simultaneously being keen on identifying false calculations. These are the ones that can vastly skew your results and render your data useless. As we stated earlier, performing the beta calculation by hand can be arduous, plus it opens you up to errors and miscalculations. Using programs like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets to automate the formula will save you time (after the format is set up) and provide peace of mind regarding the accuracy of your calculations. For this example, we used Google Sheets but the formulas perform the same for Excel as well.

## How Do You Calculate Unlevered Beta / Asset Beta?

The overall stock market is said to have a beta of 1.0, so companies with a beta of 1.0 should be expected to provide returns at an identical rate to the overall stock market, on average. The beta coefficient theory assumes that stock returns are normally distributed from a statistical perspective. Therefore, what a stock's beta might predict about a stock’s future movement isn’t always true.

The systematic risk represented by equity betas, therefore, includes both business risk and financial risk. Levered beta includes both business risk and the risk that comes from taking on debt. However, since different firms have different capital structures, unlevered beta is calculated to remove additional risk from debt in order to view pure business risk.

## Unlevered Beta: Definition, Formula, Example, and Calculation

The beta indicates its relative volatility compared to the broader equity market, as measured by indexes like the S&P 500, which has a beta of 1.0. A beta greater than one would indicate that the stock will go up more than the index when the index goes up but also fall more than the index when it declines. A beta of less than one would suggest more muted movements relative to the index.

## WACC Part 2 – Cost of Debt and Preferred Stock

A company with a beta greater than one will tend to amplify market movements. A business with a beta of less than one will tend to ease market movements. High β – A company with a β that’s greater than 1 is more volatile than the market. For example, a high-risk technology company with a β of 1.75 would have equity beta formula returned 175% of what the market returned in a given period (typically measured weekly). Over 1.8 million professionals use CFI to learn accounting, financial analysis, modeling and more. Start with a free account to explore 20+ always-free courses and hundreds of finance templates and cheat sheets.

## Adjusted beta

It is best to use asset beta when either a company or an investor wants to measure a company’s performance in relation to the market without the impact of a company’s debt. Stock 1 has an equity beta of 1.21 and a net debt to equity ratio of 21%. After unlevering the stock, the beta drops down to 1.07, which makes sense because the debt was adding leverage to the stock returns. To do this, look up the beta for a group of comparable companies within the same industry, un-lever each one, take the median of the set, and then re-lever it based on your company’s capital structure.

## Calculate Unlevered Beta from Levered Beta

Historical data can give you an idea of returns but doesn’t account for the present time. Meaning past data won’t encompass new information and will only continue to change over time. The best case to mitigate risks is by running valuations using multiple betas (high, low and average). No matter where you find yourself on this scale, understanding how to gauge a stock and portfolio’s level of sensitivity to market fluctuations is a beneficial skill to have. The determining basis used by investors to gauge an investment’s risk and sensitivity is Beta (𝛃).

By calculating your own beta you can adjust for these differences and create a more encompassing view of risk. The Weighted Average Cost of Capital serves as the discount rate https://1investing.in/ for calculating the value of a business. It is also used to evaluate investment opportunities, as WACC is considered to represent the firm’s opportunity cost of capital.

This article will assist you in understanding the importance of beta as well as the two best ways to perform the calculation for a portfolio. The market beta i.e. the average beta of all the investments that are out there is 1 and an individual investment’s systematic risk is measured relative to the overall market risk. Usually, listed companies are large companies that operate in more than one segment. Therefore, it may be problematic to find a comparable firm whose beta would adequately represent the business beta of the private company being valued. For instance, Apple Inc. (AAPL) has a diverse set of operations, including personal computers, smartphones, tablets, and other items. This company would likely be poorly comparable to a private company that has a single operation, such as smartphone production.

The final step is to re-lever beta, using the private company’s target debt-to-equity ratio. Levered beta, also known as equity beta or stock beta, is the volatility of returns for a stock, taking into account the impact of the company’s leverage from its capital structure. It compares the volatility (risk) of a levered company to the risk of the market. Unlevered beta (a.k.a. Asset Beta) is the beta of a company without the impact of debt. It is also known as the volatility of returns for a company, without taking into account its financial leverage. It compares the risk of an unlevered company to the risk of the market.