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FI 506 Mergers & Acquisitions


What is Beta?

Beta (β) is a measure of volatility, or systematic risk, of a security or portfolio in comparison to the market as a whole. (Most people use the S&P 500 Index to represent the market.) 

Beta is also a measure of the covariance of a stock with the market. It is calculated using regression analysis.

  • A beta of 1 indicates that the security's price is expected to move exactly with the market.
  • A beta greater than 1 indicates that the security's price is expected to be more volatile than the market.
  • A beta of less than 1 indicates that the security's price is expected to be less volatile than the market.

You can think of beta as the tendency of a security's returns to respond to swings in the market. For example, if a stock's beta is 1.2, then it is theoretically 20% more volatile than the market.

Finding BETA w/Bloomberg

Enter this command to look up the beta of a stock:

<ticker symbol> <Press the yellow "Equity" key > type BETA <Go>

Beta for Google equity






Bloomberg is a database with information on all types of financial securities, i.e. stocks, bonds, commodities, mutual funds, treasuries, etc.

We have two computers on the first floor and one computer with Bloomberg access in the Bashinsky computer lab. There is NO remote access for this database.  Sign-up notebooks are next to each computer on the first floor. First come/first serve for the ones in Bashinsky.

Be sure to take full advantage of your access to Bloomberg while you are here at UA as a student.  Learn more about Bloomberg and it's content by using our Bloomberg subscription and taking a look at these Bloomberg Market Concepts (BMC).


Steps to create your personal Bloomberg account for Bloomberg Market Concepts.  

  • Open Bloomberg
  • Click on "Enter"
  • Use Password and Login (taped on top right of keyboard...note: on the monitor in Bashinsky)
  • Type BCER <Enter/Go> 
  • Click on Sign-up
  • Click on Login
  • The program will open in a new window. See task bar at the bottom.


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