As a small-cap finance stock with a market capitalisation of US$547m, the risk and profitability of HomeTrust Bancshares Inc (NASDAQ:HTBI) are largely tied to the underlying economic growth of the region it operates in US. Since banks make money by reinvesting its customers’ deposits in the form of loans, strong economic growth will drive the level of savings deposits and demand for loans, directly impacting the cash flows of those banks. After the GFC, a set of reforms called Basel III was imposed in order to strengthen regulation, supervision and risk management in the banking sector. These reforms target bank level regulation and aims to improve the banking sector’s ability to absorb shocks arising from economic stress which could expose financial institutions to vulnerabilities. Since its financial standing can unexpectedly decline in the case of an adverse macro event such as political instability, it is important to understand how prudent the bank is at managing its risk levels. Low levels of leverage coupled with sufficient liquidity may place HomeTrust Bancshares in a safe position in the face of adverse headwinds. We can measure this risk exposure by analysing three metrics for leverage and liquidity which I will take you through today.
Is HTBI’s Leverage Level Appropriate?A low level of leverage subjects a bank to less risk and enhances its ability to pay back its debtors. Leverage can be thought of as the amount of assets a bank owns relative to its shareholders’ funds. While financial companies will always have some leverage for a sufficient capital buffer, HomeTrust Bancshares’s leverage ratio of 8.07x is significantly below the appropriate ceiling of 20x. This means the bank exhibits very strong leverage management and is well-positioned to repay its debtors in the case of any adverse events since it has an appropriately high level of equity relative to the debt it has taken on to remain in business. Should the bank need to increase its debt levels to meet capital requirements, it will have abundant headroom to do so.
How Should We Measure HTBI’s Liquidity?As abovementioned, loans are quite illiquid so it is important to understand how much of these loans make up HomeTrust Bancshares’s total assets. Usually, they should not be higher than 70% of total assets, but its current level of 76% means the bank has lent out 5.81% above the sensible upper limit. This means its revenue is reliant on these specific assets which means the bank is also more exposed to defaulting relative to banks with less loans.
What is HTBI’s Liquidity Discrepancy?Banks operate by lending out its customers’ deposits as loans and charge a higher interest rate. These loans tend to be fixed term which means they cannot be readily realized, conversely, on the liability side, customer deposits must be paid in very short notice and on-demand. The disparity between the immediacy of deposits compared to the illiquid nature of loans puts pressure on the bank’s financial position if an adverse event requires the bank to repay its depositors. Compared to the appropriate industry loan to deposit level of 90%, HomeTrust Bancshares’s ratio of over 114% is higher, which positions the bank in a risky spot given the adverse liquidity disparity between loan and deposit levels. Essentially, for $1 of deposits with the bank, it lends out more than $1 which is unsustainable.
Today, we’ve only explored one aspect of HomeTrust Bancshares. However, as a potential stock investment, there are many more fundamentals you need to consider. I’ve put together three essential aspects you should further examine:
- Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for HTBI’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for HTBI’s outlook.
- Historical Performance: What has HTBI’s returns been like over the past? Go into more detail in the past track record analysis and take a look at the free visual representations of our analysis for more clarity.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.