Post-GFC recovery has led to improving credit quality and a strong growth environment for the banking sector. As a small-cap bank with a market capitalisation of US$1.40b, Sandy Spring Bancorp Inc’s (NASDAQ:SASR) profit and value are directly affected by economic growth. This is because borrowers’ demand for, and ability to repay, their loans depend on the stability of their salaries and interest rates. Risk associated with repayment is measured by bad debt which is written off as an expense, impacting Sandy Spring Bancorp’s bottom line. Since the level of risky assets held by the bank impacts the attractiveness of it as an investment, I will take you through three metrics that are insightful proxies for risk.
How Good Is Sandy Spring Bancorp At Forecasting Its Risks?
Sandy Spring Bancorp’s ability to forecast and provision for its bad loans indicates it has a good understanding of the level of risk it is taking on. If the bank provisions for more than 100% of the bad debt it actually writes off, then it is considered to be relatively prudent and accurate in its bad debt provisioning. With a bad loan to bad debt ratio of 168.17%, the bank has cautiously over-provisioned by 68.17%, which illustrates a safe and prudent forecasting methodology, and its ability to anticipate the factors contributing to its bad loan levels.
How Much Risk Is Too Much?
Sandy Spring Bancorp’s operations expose it to risky assets by lending to borrowers who may not be able to repay their loans. Loans that cannot be recovered by the bank are known as bad loans and typically should make up less than 3% of its total loans. When these loans are not repaid, they are written off as expenses which comes out directly from Sandy Spring Bancorp’s profit. Since bad loans only make up a very insignificant 0.46% of its total assets, the bank exhibits very strict bad loan management and is exposed to a relatively insignificant level of risk in terms of default.
Is There Enough Safe Form Of Borrowing?
Sandy Spring Bancorp operates by lending out its various forms of borrowings. Customers’ deposits tend to carry the smallest risk given the relatively stable interest rate and amount available. The general rule is the higher level of deposits a bank holds, the less risky it is considered to be. Sandy Spring Bancorp’s total deposit level of 81.9% of its total liabilities is very high and is well-above the sensible level of 50% for financial institutions. This may mean the bank is too cautious with its level of its safer form of borrowing and has plenty of headroom to take on risker forms of liability.
The recent acquisition is expected to bring more opportunities for SASR, which in turn should lead to stronger growth. I would stay up-to-date on how this decision will affect the future of the business in terms of earnings growth and financial health. Below, I’ve listed three fundamental areas on Simply Wall St’s dashboard for a quick visualization on current trends for SASR. I’ve also used this site as a source of data for my article.
- Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for SASR’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for SASR’s outlook.
- Valuation: What is SASR worth today? Has the future growth potential already been factored into the price? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether SASR is currently mispriced by the market.
- Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore our free list of these great stocks here.
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The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.