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What Makes HomeTrust Bancshares Inc (NASDAQ:HTBI) A Hard Investment?

HomeTrust Bancshares Inc’s (NASDAQ:HTBI) profitability and risk are largely affected by the underlying economic growth for the region it operates in US given it is a small-cap stock with a market capitalisation of US$523m. Since a bank profits from reinvesting its clients’ deposits in the form of loans, negative economic growth may lower deposit levels and demand for loan, adversely impacting its cash flow. Post-GFC recovery brought about a new set of reforms, Basel III, which was created to improve regulation, supervision and risk management in the financial services industry. The Basel III reforms are aimed at banking regulations to improve financial institutions’ ability to absorb shocks caused by economic stress which could expose banks like HomeTrust Bancshares to vulnerabilities. Since its financial standing can unexpectedly decline in the case of an adverse macro event such as political instability, it is important to understand how prudent the bank is at managing its risk levels. High liquidity and low leverage could position HomeTrust Bancshares favourably at the face of macro headwinds. A way to measure this risk is to look at three leverage and liquidity metrics which I will take you through today.

Check out our latest analysis for HomeTrust Bancshares

NasdaqGS:HTBI Historical Debt October 23rd 18

Why Does HTBI’s Leverage Matter?

Banks with low leverage are better positioned to weather adverse headwinds as they have less debt to pay off. A bank’s leverage may be thought of as the level of assets it owns compared to its own shareholders’ equity. While financial companies will always have some leverage for a sufficient capital buffer, HomeTrust Bancshares’s leverage ratio of less than the suitable maximum level of 20x, at 8.07x, is considered to be very cautious and prudent. This means the bank has a sensibly high level of equity compared to the level of debt it has taken on to maintain operations which places it in a strong position to pay back its debt in unforeseen circumstances. If the bank needs to firm up its capital cushion, it has ample headroom to increase its debt level without deteriorating its financial position.

What Is HTBI’s Level of Liquidity?

Handing Money Transparent

Due to its illiquid nature, loans are an important asset class we should learn more about. Usually, they should not be higher than 70% of total assets, however its current level of 76% means the bank has lent out 5.81% above the sensible threshold. This means its revenue is reliant on these specific assets which means the bank is also more exposed to defaulting relative to banks with less loans.

Does HTBI Have Liquidity Mismatch?

Banks operate by lending out its customers’ deposits as loans and charge a higher interest rate. These loans tend to be fixed term which means they cannot be readily realized, conversely, on the liability side, customer deposits must be paid in very short notice and on-demand. The disparity between the immediacy of deposits compared to the illiquid nature of loans puts pressure on the bank’s financial position if an adverse event requires the bank to repay its depositors. Since HomeTrust Bancshares’s loan to deposit ratio of 114% is higher than the appropriate level of 90%, this level places the bank in a relatively dangerous position given the negative liquidity discrepancy. Basically, for $1 of deposits with the bank, it lends out over $1 which is imprudent.

Next Steps:

Today, we’ve only explored one aspect of HomeTrust Bancshares. However, as a potential stock investment, there are many more fundamentals you need to consider. There are three relevant aspects you should further research:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for HTBI’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for HTBI’s outlook.
  2. Historical Performance: What has HTBI’s returns been like over the past? Go into more detail in the past track record analysis and take a look at the free visual representations of our analysis for more clarity.
  3. 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.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

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 editorial-team@simplywallst.com.