U.S. Markets closed

Why TowneBank (NASDAQ:TOWN) May Not Be As Risky Than You Think

Ricardo Crouch

Improving credit quality as a result of post-GFC recovery has led to a strong environment for growth in the banking sector. TowneBank (NASDAQ:TOWN) is a small-cap bank with a market capitalisation of US$2.34b. 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 TowneBank’s bottom line. Today I will take you through some bad debt and liability measures to analyse the level of risky assets held by the bank. Looking through a risk-lens is a useful way to assess the attractiveness of TowneBank’s a stock investment.

Check out our latest analysis for TowneBank

NasdaqGS:TOWN Historical Debt August 29th 18

How Good Is TowneBank At Forecasting Its Risks?

The ability for TowneBank to accurately forecast and provision for its bad loans shows it has a strong 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. Given its large bad loan to bad debt ratio of over 500%, TowneBank has excessively over-provisioned above the appropriate minimum of 100%, indicating the bank is extremely cautious with their expectation of bad debt and should adjust their forecast moving forward.

What Is An Appropriate Level Of Risk?

TowneBank is engaging in risking lending practices if it is over-exposed to bad debt. Generally, loans that are “bad” and cannot be recovered by the bank 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 TowneBank’s bottom line. The bank’s bad debt only makes up a very small 0.050% to total debt which means means the bank has very strict bad debt management and faces insignificant levels of default.

How Big Is TowneBank’s Safety Net?

Handing Money Transparent

TowneBank 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. The general rule is the higher level of deposits a bank holds, the less risky it is considered to be. Since TowneBank’s total deposit to total liabilities is very high at 85.4% which is well-above the prudent level of 50% for banks, TowneBank may be too cautious with its level of deposits and has plenty of headroom to take on risker forms of liability.

Next Steps:

How will TOWN’s recent acquisition impact the business going forward? Should you be concerned about the future of TOWN and the sustainability of its financial health? Below, I’ve listed three fundamental areas on Simply Wall St’s dashboard for a quick visualization on current trends for TOWN. 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 TOWN’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for TOWN’s outlook.
  2. Valuation: What is TOWN 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 TOWN 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.