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Improving credit quality as a result of post-GFC recovery has led to a strong environment for growth in the banking sector. As a small-cap bank with a market capitalisation of US$84m, Emclaire Financial Corp.’s (NASDAQ:EMCF) 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 Emclaire Financial’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.
How Good Is Emclaire Financial At Forecasting Its Risks?
Emclaire Financial’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 high bad loan to bad debt ratio of 115.89% Emclaire Financial has cautiously over-provisioned 15.89% above the appropriate minimum, indicating 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?If Emclaire Financial does not engage in overly risky lending practices, it is considered to be in good financial shape. 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. When these loans are not repaid, they are written off as expenses which comes out directly from Emclaire Financial’s profit. A ratio of 0.92% indicates the bank faces relatively low chance of default and exhibits strong bad debt management.
Is There Enough Safe Form Of Borrowing?Emclaire Financial makes money by lending out its various forms of borrowings. Deposits from customers tend to bear the lowest risk given the relatively stable amount available and interest rate. Generally, the higher level of deposits a bank retains, the less risky it is deemed to be. Emclaire Financial’s total deposit level of 96% 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.
The recent acquisition is expected to bring more opportunities for EMCF, 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 EMCF’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:
- Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for EMCF’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for EMCF’s outlook.
- Valuation: What is EMCF 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 EMCF is currently mispriced by the market.
- 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 email@example.com.