CIT Group (CIT) Hurt by High Costs, Worsening Asset Quality

CIT Group Inc.’s CIT bottom line is expected to be under pressure due to elevated costs. Moreover, worsening credit quality is a major concern for the company and will likely hamper financials.

Also, analysts are not optimistic regarding the company’s earnings growth prospects. Per the Zacks Consensus Estimate, the company will report a per share loss in the current year.

Looking at its fundamentals, non-interest expenses have witnessed a six-year (2014-2019) CAGR of 4.2%, primarily due to higher compensation costs, professional fees and technology costs. The uptrend continued in the first six months of 2020. While the company is on track to realize cost synergies related to the integration of Mutual of Omaha Bank, overall expenses are expected to remain elevated in the near term, given its strategic growth efforts and continued investments in franchise.

Moreover, CIT Group has witnessed a continued rise in provisions in the past few years. Provision for credit losses witnessed a six-year (2014-2019) CAGR of 1.2%, with some annual volatility. In the first half of 2020, provisions increased significantly owing to the uncertainties related to the coronavirus outbreak.

Because of the company’s intention of becoming a leading national middle-market bank, loan balances are expected to rise, thereby resulting in higher provisions.

In September 2020, CIT Group sold its trust and wealth advisory business to Sunflower Bank, a subsidiary of Denver, CO-based FirstSun Capital Bancorp with an aim of focusing on core operations.

Further, CIT Group provides more than 50% of its total lending to real estate, manufacturing, retail, energy and utilities as well as wholesale industries. Sluggish growth or any other contingencies in any of these sectors could hamper the company’s prospects as the borrowers may not be able to make timely payments of loans and interest.

Nevertheless, the company’s efforts to diversify revenues, strategic acquisitions along with a strong balance sheet and liquidity position are expected to continue driving growth in the quarters ahead.

A few stocks from the finance space worth a look are Navient Corporation NAVI, BlackRock, Inc. BLK and Moody’s Corporation MCO. Each of these stocks has been witnessing upward earnings estimate revisions for the current year and shares of these companies have appreciated in the past three months.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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