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Why Peoples Bancorp Inc’s (NASDAQ:PEBO) Risk Control Makes It Attractive

The banking sector has been experiencing growth as a result of improving credit quality from post-GFC recovery. Peoples Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:PEBO) is a small-cap bank with a market capitalisation of US$673m. Its profit and value are directly impacted by its borrowers’ ability to pay which is driven by the level of economic growth. This is because growth determines the stability of a borrower’s salary as well as the level of interest rates. Risk associated with repayment is measured by bad debt which is written off as an expense, impacting Peoples 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.

See our latest analysis for Peoples Bancorp

NasdaqGS:PEBO Historical Debt November 20th 18

Does Peoples Bancorp Understand Its Own Risks?

Peoples 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 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. With a bad loan to bad debt ratio of 109.71%, the bank has cautiously over-provisioned by 9.71%, which illustrates a safe and prudent forecasting methodology, and its ability to anticipate the factors contributing to its bad loan levels.

What Is An Appropriate Level Of Risk?

Peoples Bancorp is considered to be in a good financial shape if it does not engage in overly risky lending practices. So what constitutes as overly risky? Loans that cannot be recuperated by the bank, also known as bad loans, should typically form less than 3% of its total loans. When these loans are not repaid, they are written off as expenses which comes directly out of the bank’s profit. Since bad loans make up a relatively small 0.67% of total assets, the bank exhibits strict bad debt management and faces low risk of default.

Is There Enough Safe Form Of Borrowing?

Handing Money Transparent

Peoples Bancorp 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. Generally, the higher level of deposits a bank retains, the less risky it is deemed to be. Peoples Bancorp’s total deposit level of 87% 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:

The recent acquisition is expected to bring more opportunities for PEBO, 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 PEBO. I’ve also used this site as a source of data for my article.

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