Business

Cathay General Bancorp (CATY) Quality Factors Under Review as GP Reaches 0.001874

In thie piece we will review the quality ratios and quant metrics for shares of Cathay General Bancorp (CATY). Avid investors might be interested in how the quality ratios are stacking up for the Financials firm.  Robert Novy-Marx, a professor at the university of Rochester, discovered that gross profitability has as much power predicting stock returns as traditional value metrics. He found that while other quality measures had some predictive power, especially on small caps and in conjunction with value measures, gross profitability generates significant excess returns as a stand alone strategy, especially on large cap stocks.The Gross profitability for Cathay General Bancorp (CATY) is 0.001874.

Dealing with the ups and down of the stock market is something that most investors will encounter at some point. Everyone wants to feel that thrill of seeing that big winner soar, and nobody wants to see that loser keep sinking. Figuring out how to best approach the stock market can take up a lot of time and energy. There are many strategies that investors can use when purchasing stocks for the portfolio. Some of these strategies may be riskier than others. Determining a comfortable level of risk appetite may be highly important for the individual investor. It is important to remember that there are no guarantees in the stock market. New investors may have to learn that there is rarely any substitute for hard work and tireless research. Many investors jump in head first and find this out the hard way. Realizing that there is no guaranteed strategy for stock picking might help the investor stay focused and grounded while building up the portfolio. 

Professor Novy-Marx’s key insight was that you don’t need to go further down the income statement as these numbers may get manipulated with accounting tricks. To identify really profitable firms, one should look at the top line, not the bottom line. In one of his papers, Novy-Marx compares gross profitability to the other most famous strategies such as Greenblatt magic formula, Piortoski F-Score, etc.

Investors are typically searching far and wide for any little advantage they can get in the stock market. Short-term traders using technical analysis may be looking to score quick profits by capitalizing on the fluctuations of stock prices. There are many different technical indicators that traders can choose to study. Some traders may find an indicator that works great by itself. Others may use a combination of multiple indicators to help spot trends and patterns. Many active traders will keep a close eye on a particular stock when it is nearing a new high or new low that hasn’t been touched in some time. Studying historical stock price action may lend some insight into whether or not a stock is likely to break out past the new high, or plummet further to a much lower low. Staying on top of the action may be crucial when frequently entering and exiting trades.

Total Asset Growth

In their 2008 paper, professors Cooper, Gulen and Schill provided evidence that a firm’s assets growth rates are strong predictors of future abnormal returns.

“The findings suggest that corporate events associated with asset expansion (i.e., acquisitions, public equity offerings, public debt offerings, and bank loan initiations) tend to be followed by periods of abnormally low returns, whereas events associated with asset contraction (i.e., spin-offs, share repurchases, debt prepayments, and dividend initiations) tend to be followed by periods of abnormally high returns.” – Cooper, Gulen & Shill in Asset Growth and the Cross-Section of Stock Returns. In a study on US data during the period 1967-2007, they find that:

– A hedge portfolio rebalanced annually that is long (short) the stocks of companies with the lowest (highest) percentage growth in total assets over the previous 12 months generates an average annual return of 22%.
– This asset growth effect is stronger for small capitalization stocks, but is still substantial for large capitalization stocks.
– The effect is strongest in the month of January.
– Asset growth rate retains large explanatory power for future stock returns after accounting for firm size, book-to-market ratio and momentum. In fact the asset growth effect is at least as powerful in explaining returns as these other widely used factors.

We calculate asset growth as follows:

Total Asset Growth = (Total AssetsTotal Assets y-1) − 1. Cathay General Bancorp (CATY) has a total asset growth number of 0.046623.

Net Debt to Market Cap

This ratio gives a sense of how much debt a company has relative to its market value. Companies with high debt levels compared to their peers can be volatile. We calculate it as follows:

Net Debt to Market Cap = (Total Debt−Cash and ST Investments) / Market Cap

Cathay General Bancorp (CATY) has a net debt to market cap ratio of 0.677752.

Altman Z Score

Cathay General Bancorp (CATY) has an Altman Z score of -0.584358. The Z-Score for predicting bankruptcy was published in 1968 by Edward I. Altman, who was assistant professor of finance at New York University at that time. It measures the financial health of a company based on a set of income and balance sheet values. The Altman Z-Score predicts the probability that a firm will go bankrupt within 2 years. In its initial test, the Altman Z-Score was found to be 72% accurate in predicting bankruptcy two years before the event. In a series of subsequent tests, the model was found to be approximately 80%–90% accurate in predicting bankruptcy one year before the event

Atman built the model by applying the statistical method of discriminant analysis to a dataset of publicly held manufacturers. Since then he has published new versions based on other datasets for private manufacturing (Z’-Score), non-manufacturing, service companies and companies in emerging markets. (Z”-Score)

Please also note that the original dataset used was quite small and consisted of only 66 firms of which half filed for bankruptcy. All companies were manufacturers and small firms (total assets less than $1m) were removed.

Smart investors are often very knowledgeable about the markets. Many successful investors have become highly adept at knowing when to buy and when to sell. They have also managed to control risk and secure sustained profits. This doesn’t just happen overnight. Investors often spend many years of trial and error before being able to put together the puzzle. Top investors are also able to make better investing decisions with the information at hand. With vast amounts of data readily available for everyone, it becomes more about interpreting the data rather than just receiving it. Knowing how to block out the noise and find information that is useful, can be a highly coveted skill. Turning available information into a winning portfolio is where the good investor can become a great investor.

VC3

Value Composite Three (VC3) is another adaptation of O’Shaughnessy’s value composite but here he combines the factors used in VC1 with buyback yield. This factor is interesting for investors who’re looking for stocks with the best value characteristics, but are indifferent to whether these companies pay a dividend.

VC3 is the combination of the following factors:

Price-to-Book
Price-to-Earnings
Price-to-Sales
EBITDA/EV
Price-to-Cash flow
Buyback Yield

As with the VC1 and VC2, companies are put into groups from 1 to 100 for each ratio and the individual scores are summed up. This total score is then put into groups again from 1 to 100. 1 is cheap, 100 is expensive.

The scorecard also displays variants of the VC3 where the score is calculated for the selected company compared to peer companies in the same industry, industry group or sector.

Please note that we use Book-to-Market instead of P/B since it allows a more accurate sorting compared to P/B. Stocks with a high B/M show up at the top of the list, stocks with negative B/M are at the bottom of the list. For the same reason we use Earnings-to-Price instead of Price-to-Earnings and Cash flow-to-price instead instead of Price-to-cash flow.

Also important is that we always make sure that companies with the same score get added to the same percentile. For stock universes where the number of stocks is less than 100, we make sure that the stocks are still allocated to percentiles from 0 to 100 instead of 0 to the total number of stocks. This is particularly relevant for the industry, industry group or sector variants where if additional filters are used, the number of stocks often drops below 100.

Cathay General Bancorp (CATY) has a VC3 of 37.

Investors might be taking a closer look at the portfolio after recent market action. Some financial insiders may be ready to usher in the bears and projecting the end of the bull run. While this may or may not be the case, investors need to be ready for any scenario. The time may have come to cash out some winners and cut the losers. A portfolio rebalance may be necessary in order to secure profits as we head into the latter half of the year. Keeping a diversified portfolio may entail adding some different sectors and even venturing into foreign markets. Investors will be tracking company earnings as we roll into the next round of reports. It may be a bit easier to make sense of future stock market prospects after seeing how many companies hit or miss their marks. 

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