For those traders looking to make a quick buck on a fast moving stock, a high beta is a very helpful thing. Whether you're playing the long or the short side, beta means your stock is moving at a greater rate than the overall market. For instance, a stock with a beta of two moves up (or down) at twice the rate of the broad market. So if the S&P 500 is up 1.2%, your two beta stock will likely be up 2.4%. (To learn more about beta, see Beta: Gauging Price Fluctuations.)
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Day Trader or Value Investor?
Without this added volatility, it's harder for day and swing traders to make money in the short term.
But what in the world are high-yielding stocks doing sporting outsized "betas"? Moreover, high yielders with low P/Es trading for less than book value. Is it possible? It's hard to figure whether the following three issues fall into the domain of the value investor or the day trader.
Trading at Half Book Value
Kohlberg Capital Corp (NASDAQ:KCAP) is a closed-end investment company that takes both equity and debt positions in privately held, middle market companies. KCAP stock has a P/E of 4.19 and offers investors an annual dividend of 13.44%. In the last six months the stock is up by more than 19%.
That's a far better return than the Financial Select Sector ETF (NYSE:XLF), a proxy for the broad financial sector, which is down over 4% for the same period.
KCAP shares trade at just half their breakup value, with a P/B of 0.53 and has a beta of 2.23.
Freedom to Profit
One Liberty Properties, Inc. (NYSE:OLP) is up better than 50% in 2010. The stock yields 8.5% and trades with a P/E of 12.37. Price to book for the company is 0.87.
One Liberty is a REIT that focuses on furniture, office supply, and health and fitness establishments. It trades with a beta of 2.3. One Liberty has outpaced the REIT niche, as represented by the Vanguard REIT ETF (NYSE:VNQ) which is up under 20% in the new year.
Resource Capital Corp. (NYSE:RSO) is another financial with a big 2.36 beta and a dividend yield of 17.2%. The P/E on RSO shares is a mere 4.7. The company's stock is up over 18%. Resource Capital is a New York-based financial that is set up as a REIT and deals mostly with commercial real estate. (For more on commercial real estate, see Find Fortune In Commercial Real Estate.)
Call them big-beta traders or long-term value holds, these three stocks may have a place in nearly every investor's portfolio.
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