Should You Be Concerned About First Savings Financial Group, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:FSFG) Risks?

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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$118m, First Savings Financial Group, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:FSFG) 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 First Savings Financial Group’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 First Savings Financial Group’s a stock investment.

View our latest analysis for First Savings Financial Group

NASDAQCM:FSFG Historical Debt February 12th 19
NASDAQCM:FSFG Historical Debt February 12th 19

Does First Savings Financial Group Understand Its Own Risks?

First Savings Financial Group’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 208.77%, First Savings Financial Group excessively over-provisioned by 108.77% 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?

First Savings Financial Group 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. Loans are written off as expenses when they are not repaid, which comes directly out of First Savings Financial Group’s profit. Since bad loans make up a relatively small 0.62% of total assets, the bank exhibits strict bad debt management and faces low risk of default.

How Big Is First Savings Financial Group’s Safety Net?

Handing Money Transparent First Savings Financial Group 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. As a rule, a bank is considered less risky if it holds a higher level of deposits. First Savings Financial Group’s total deposit level of 86% 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 FSFG, 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. The list below is my go-to checks for FSFG. I use Simply Wall St’s platform to keep informed about any changes in the company and market sentiment, and also use their data as the basis for my articles.

  1. Valuation: What is FSFG 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 FSFG is currently mispriced by the market.
  2. Management Team: An experienced management team on the helm increases our confidence in the business – take a look at who sits on First Savings Financial Group’s board and the CEO’s back ground.
  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.