As a small-cap finance stock with a market capitalisation of US$215.1m, the risk and profitability of Spirit of Texas Bancshares Inc (NASDAQ:STXB) 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. Following the Financial Crisis in 2008, a set of reforms termed Basel III was enforced to bolster risk management, regulation, and supervision in the financial services industry. 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. Unpredictable macro events such as political instability could weaken its financial position which is why it is important to understand how well the bank manages its risk levels. Sufficient liquidity and low levels of leverage could place the bank in a safe place in case of unexpected macro headwinds. Today we will be measuring Spirit of Texas Bancshares’s financial risk position by looking at three leverage and liquidity metrics.
Why Does STXB’s Leverage Matter?Banks with low leverage are exposed to lower risks around their ability to repay debt. A bank’s leverage can be thought of as the amount of assets it holds compared to its own shareholders’ funds. While financial companies will always have some leverage for a sufficient capital buffer, Spirit of Texas Bancshares’s leverage ratio of 7.28x is very safe and substantially below the maximum limit 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.
What Is STXB’s Level of Liquidity?Since loans are relatively illiquid, we should know how much of Spirit of Texas Bancshares’s total assets are comprised of these loans. Usually, they should not be higher than 70% of total assets, however its current level of 84.7% means the bank has clearly lent out 14.66% above the sensible threshold. This level implies dependency on this particular asset class as a source of revenue which makes the bank more exposed to default compared to banks with less loans.
What is STXB’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, however, customer deposits are liabilities which must be repaid on-demand and in short notice. This mismatch between illiquid loans and liquid deposits poses a risk for the bank if unusual events occur and requires it to immediately repay its depositors. Relative to the prudent industry loan to deposit level of 90%, Spirit of Texas Bancshares’s ratio of over 108% is higher, which positions the bank in a risky spot given the adverse liquidity disparity between loan and deposit levels. Basically, for $1 of deposits with the bank, it lends out over $1 which is imprudent.
We’ve only touched on operational risks for STXB in this article. But as a stock investment, there are other fundamentals you need to understand. I’ve put together three pertinent factors you should further research:
- Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for STXB’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for STXB’s outlook.
- Valuation: What is STXB 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 STXB 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.