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Real Risks To Know Before Investing In Carolina Trust BancShares, Inc. (NASDAQ:CART)

Willa Russo

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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$79m, Carolina Trust BancShares, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:CART) 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 Carolina Trust BancShares’s bottom line. Today we will analyse Carolina Trust BancShares’s level of bad debt and liabilities in order to understand the risk involved with investing in the bank.

See our latest analysis for Carolina Trust BancShares

NASDAQCM:CART Historical Debt February 7th 19

Does Carolina Trust BancShares Understand Its Own Risks?

Carolina Trust BancShares’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 level of provisioning covers 100% or more of the actual bad debt expense the bank writes off, then it is relatively accurate and prudent in its bad debt provisioning. Given its large bad loan to bad debt ratio of 371.33%, Carolina Trust BancShares excessively over-provisioned by 271.33% above the appropriate minimum, indicating the bank may perhaps be too cautious with their expectation of bad debt.

What Is An Appropriate Level Of Risk?

By nature, Carolina Trust BancShares is exposed 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. Bad debt is written off as expenses when loans are not repaid which directly impacts Carolina Trust BancShares’s bottom line. Since bad loans only make up a very insignificant 0.28% 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?

Handing Money Transparent

Carolina Trust BancShares profits from lending out its various forms of borrowings and charging interest rates. Deposits from customers tend to carry the lowest risk due to the relatively stable interest rate and amount available. As a rule, a bank is considered less risky if it holds a higher level of deposits. Carolina Trust BancShares’s total deposit level of 93% 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.

Next Steps:

CART’s acquisition will impact the business moving forward. Keep an eye on how this decision plays out in the future, especially on its financial health and earnings growth. I’ve bookmarked CART’s company page on Simply Wall St to stay informed with changes in outlook and valuation. This is also the source of data for this article. The three main sections I’d recommend you check out are:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for CART’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for CART’s outlook.
  2. Valuation: What is CART 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 CART is currently mispriced by the market.
  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.