What You Should Know About Arrow Financial Corporation’s (NASDAQ:AROW) Risks

The banking sector has been experiencing growth as a result of improving credit quality from post-GFC recovery. As a small-cap bank with a market capitalisation of US$490m, Arrow Financial Corporation’s (NASDAQ:AROW) 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 Arrow Financial’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 Arrow Financial’s a stock investment.

See our latest analysis for Arrow Financial

NasdaqGS:AROW Historical Debt December 10th 18
NasdaqGS:AROW Historical Debt December 10th 18

How Good Is Arrow Financial At Forecasting Its Risks?

Arrow Financial’s forecasting and provisioning accuracy for its bad loans indicates it has a strong understanding of its own risk levels. If the bank provision covers more than 100% of what it actually writes off, then it is considered sensible and relatively accurate in its provisioning of bad debt. Given its large bad loan to bad debt ratio of 347.58%, Arrow Financial excessively over-provisioned by 247.58% above the appropriate minimum, indicating the bank may perhaps be too cautious with their expectation of bad debt.

How Much Risk Is Too Much?

Arrow Financial 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? Total loans should generally be made up of less than 3% of loans that are considered unrecoverable, also known as bad debt. When these loans are not repaid, they are written off as expenses which comes out directly from Arrow Financial’s profit. The bank’s bad debt only makes up a very small 0.27% to total debt which means means the bank has very strict bad debt management and faces insignificant levels of default.

Is There Enough Safe Form Of Borrowing?

Handing Money Transparent Arrow Financial 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. Arrow Financial’s total deposit level of 90% 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 AROW, 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. I’ve bookmarked AROW’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 AROW’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for AROW’s outlook.
  2. Valuation: What is AROW 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 AROW 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.