China's Central Bank Eliminates Margin T…

19-01-2017 Hits:199 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

China's Central Bank Eliminates Margin Trading of Bitcoin

There have been rumors that the Chinese Central Bank (PBoC - People's Bank of China) would limit or eliminate margin trading in Bitcoin. It is now official, sort of...

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Is Donald Trump Truly Successful or Born…

18-01-2017 Hits:351 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

Is Donald Trump Truly Successful or Born With A Silver Spoon? An Analysis

In social media and mainstream media, I often hear Donald Trump quoted (by himself, and others) as an extremely successful, self-made man. As an entrepreneur for nearly all of my...

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As I Promised, EU Is Colliding Into Prac…

17-01-2017 Hits:777 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

As I Promised, EU Is Colliding Into Practical Confines of NIRP, Bank Hemorrhaging Up Next

Nearly a year ago, I warned subscribers of consequences stemming from the ECB's negative interest rate program. Here's an exceprt from our resarch report titled European Banking Macro Issues for March...

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Is Bitcoin Too Risky? Whenever the Bitco…

12-01-2017 Hits:1395 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

Is Bitcoin Too Risky? Whenever the Bitcoin is Mentioned in Financial Pop Media, Ignorance Ensues

I hate to be the one to break bad news to you, but most of the pop media/mainstream media financial pundits that I hear and see opine on bitcoin have...

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What Happens When Rates Rise While the S…

10-01-2017 Hits:983 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

What Happens When Rates Rise While the S&P 500 Relies on Cheap Credit To Boost EPS?

So, the stock market, bond market and real estate markets are all at all-time highs. Everything is Awesome! You know better than that. You see, when the bond market wakes...

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Debt Encumbered Oil, Sovereign Soil, Toi…

10-01-2017 Hits:606 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

Debt Encumbered Oil, Sovereign Soil, Toil & Trouble: Can't You Hear Seems Cracking in the OPEC Empire?

@WSJ reports Libya Ramping Up Oil Production, Threatening OPEC (supposed) Plans to lift global oil place by artificially limiting supply. This would be in violation of federal antii-trust laws in the...

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Ten Years Since BoomBustBlog Was 1st Pub…

09-01-2017 Hits:927 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

Ten Years Since BoomBustBlog Was 1st Published & That Initial Research Still Relevant Today

We have looked into insurance companies' performance last month in regards to our bearish real estate thesis. A small comederie of companies are suffering losses and/or declining profits as we've exected....

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The Macro Truth About The Big Bitcoin Po…

07-01-2017 Hits:1095 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

Bitcoin has dropped precipitously, and as is usual, we have the cacophony of instant digital currency pundits cackling about as if they had a clue. This is the inaugural post...

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To Bust or Not To Bust: Are We In A Real…

04-01-2017 Hits:778 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

To Bust or Not To Bust: Are We In A Real Estate Bubble?

Banks are showing thin NIM, yet many of the big banks are able to boast stable if not slightly improving credit metrics. This doesn’t make sense considering the explosive growth...

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What Happens To Real Asset Lending Banks…

03-01-2017 Hits:626 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

What Happens To Real Asset Lending Banks When the Real Funding Rate Appears? We're About to Find Out

During the financial crisis of 2008, money market funds who subjectively agreed to hold their NAV (net asset value) unit prices at $1 “broke the buck”. That is, the unit...

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Stress Test on Banks’ Earnings Facing th…

30-06-2014 Hits:44750 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

Stress Test on Banks’ Earnings Facing the Veritaseum UltraCoin Value Transaction Platform

My last post on the topic of disintermediation during a paradigm shift was Wall Street Should Be First To Invest In Reggie Middleton's UltraCoin, Much Of It Won't Be Here In...

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Introducing the "Unbreakable Promis…

09-06-2014 Hits:39544 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

Introducing the "Unbreakable Promise" As a Method Increasing Efficiencies and Decreasing Risk

Continuing on the margin compression theme originally laid out in Margin Compression Is Coming in the Payment Processing Space As $100 Million Pours Into Startups, I illustrate mathematically how the bit...

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  I am going to release the draft of the Sun Trust analysis in pdf form for registered users. It hasn't been reviewed, but since STI is moving so fast, and I am short on time I decided to offer it to the blog early. I started my position in the mid fifties, and it has dropped precipitously, just like nearly the entire Doo Doo 32 list. One of the things that took my time was the BoomBustBlog Boat ride up the Hudson to the Pallisades. Sorry I was so late fellas, lots of fog and safety first (and I'm always lateCool). Below is Cap'n Vic, who takes the credit for shepherding us safely through the condo ridden waters of NYC's Hudson River.

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I was able to show the BoomBustBloggers, most of which flew in from out of the country and out of state for the financial brainstorming and chit chat, how the myth of NYC's immunity to a real estate downturn was just that, a myth - or at least that was what was communciated by the big blogger himself. See "On the NYC Real Estate Front" then look at the West Side Highway which is the street that leads up to where we met to board the boat.

Cranes in the background building more condos...

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  And here we have even more condos...

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Oh no! What do we have here, more condos!!!

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Look closely, can you see what banks are financing these???

These are all within viewing distance of the docks, and there are many, many, many more. Guess what we will have an oversupply of in the bulletproof home of the world's financial center that is laying off tens of thousands of financial execs and back office support. Go ahead, I bet you can't guess. Its expensive, the most expensive in the country, and there is more of it than jobs to go around to pay for it, and it takes gobs and gobs of bank money to build. Go ahead, guess...

And here are some of those handsome, debonair BoomBustBloggers who didn't even know that their BoomBustBlog researched accounts were being heavily fortified by the market facing reality via 30 point plus drop in the broad market and the psychological significant but empirically irrelavent near 400 point drop in the Dow - as they cruised up the Hudson... Even the shy ones...

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 We discussed politics, Obama vs McCain (you know what that brought about), peak oil, pharma and biotech, true and effective housing price inflation vs nominal, options and strategies, banking and finance, builders, gentrification and hard work. All in all, an enjoyable and fruitful day, fellas. I will be scheduling another trip for approximately this time next month.

The Asset Securitization Crisis Analysis road-map to date:

  1. Intro: The great housing bull run - creation of asset bubble, Declining lending standards, lax underwriting activities increased the bubble - A comparison with the same during the S&L crisis
  2. Securitization - dissimilarity between the S&L and the Subprime Mortgage crises, The bursting of housing bubble - declining home prices and rising foreclosure
  3. Counterparty risk analyses - counter-party failure will open up another Pandora's box (must read for anyone who is not a CDS specialist)
  4. The consumer finance sector risk is woefully unrecognized, and the US Federal reserve to the rescue 
  5. Municipal bond market and the securitization crisis - part I
  6. Municipal bond market and the securitization crisis - part 2 (should be read by whoever is not a muni expert - this newsbyte may be worth reading as well)
  7. An overview of my personal Regional Bank short prospects Part I: PNC Bank - risky loans skating on razor thin capital, PNC addendum Posts One and Two
  8. Reggie Middleton says don't believe Paulson: S&L crisis 2.0, bank failure redux
  9. More on the banking backdrop, we've never had so many loans!
  10. As I see it, these 32 banks and thrifts are in deep doo-doo!
  11. A little more on HELOCs, 2nd lien loans and rose colored glasses
  12. Will Countywide cause the next shoe to drop?
  13. Capital, Leverage and Loss in the Banking System
  14. Doo-Doo bank drill down, part 1 - Wells Fargo
  15. Doo-Doo Bank 32 drill down: Part 2 - Popular
  16. Doo-Doo Bank 32 drill down: Part 3 - SunTrust Bank
  17. The Anatomy of a Sick Bank!
  18. Doo Doo Bank 32 Drill Down 1.5: Wells Fargo Bank
  19. GE: The Uber Bank???


Here is the full Sun Trust Forensic Analysis (17 pages) icon Sun Trust Bank Report (391.89 kB 2008-06-27 08:09:31), and the following is an excerpt:

      I.        INVESTMENT SUMMARY

Banks continue to reel amid rising loan delinquencies and foreclosures in the US, which reached record levels in the first three months of 2008, and difficult operating environment. Housing sector woes are not showing any signs of abating and witnessed the steepest ever price decline of 15.3% y-o-y in April 2008. Unemployment levels, which increased the highest in last 22 years, soaring commodity and energy prices, and high inflationary conditions have dampened consumer confidence and caused serious slow-down in economic activities. The problem in the housing sector has spilled over to other sectors and credit spreads continue to widen off risk aversion caused by inflationary conditions and fear of US recession.

 

SunTrust Bank (SunTrust), having almost 60% of its loan portfolio in real estate, with large concentrations in troubled geographies like Florida and Georgia, has witnessed a significant increase in loan losses and charge-offs in the recent quarters. The problem is expected to hurt the bank the most among its peer group as SunTrust is plagued with one of the lowest capital ratios and continues to maintain a higher dividend pay-out ratio than most of its peers. Amid continuing expectations of higher loan losses and mark-to-market losses off widening of credit spreads in the coming quarters, we expect bank to raise funds in the near-to-medium, which might result in dilution of its equity, and to sell its investment in Coca-Cola. Further, we expect the bank to witness compressed net interest margin (NIM) in 2008 and 2009 over the 2007 levels off expectations of interest rate increases by Fed towards the second half of 2008. These combined with slow-down in non-interest income, higher charge-offs and mark-to-market losses will drag SunTrust's valuation to $28.5 per share from the present level of $37.40 (as of June 24, 2008), in our view.

 

    II.        Key points

Razor-thin capital ratios:  At the end of 1Q2008, SunTrust had one of the lowest regulatory ratios in the industry, with tier 1 capital ratio and total capital ratio of 7.25% and 11.0%, respectively. With an increase in charge-offs caused by higher loan delinquencies due to declining housing prices, the current capital ratio doesn't seem to provide adequate cushion for the bank to sustain losses. As the bank embarks on measures to raise additional capital, dilutive effect could drag its valuation to lower levels.

 

Exposure to troubled sectors:  SunTrust has nearly 60% of its loan portfolio in the real estate sector which is being plagued by rising delinquencies amidst falling housing prices. Charge-off on real estate loans witnessed a remarkable surge to 1.25% in 1Q2008 from 0.18% in 1Q2007 and 0.07% in 1Q2006. As housing problems are expected to continue to persist in the near-to-medium term, we expect charge-offs to continue to rise and peak-off in 2Q2009. As a result we expect the bank's earnings to remain under considerable pressure.

 

Higher provisions to put a strain on banks earnings: As a result of rising NPAs and charge-offs, SunTrust has increased its provisions to cover its expected loan losses nearly 10 times to $560 mn in 1Q2008 from $56 mn in 1Q2007.

SunTrust's rising provisions are eroding its earnings. In 1Q2008 SunTrust's net interest income (after provision for loan losses) declined 47.7% y-o-y to $0.58 bn primarily due to an increase in provisions. However, despite higher provisions in the recent quarters, total allowances at 1.25% of the total loans as against 1.88% of NPAs seem inadequate. We expect SunTrust's provision for losses to increase in the coming quarters due to increased charge-offs on home equity, and residential and construction loans.

 

Growing proportion of NPAs a cause of concern: SunTrust's NPAs increased to $2.3 bn (or 12.6% of shareholder's equity) at the end of 1Q2008 from $0.75 bn (or 4.2% of shareholder's equity) at the end of 1Q2007, with residential mortgages NPAs witnessing the steepest rise to $1.3 bn from $0.4 bn. However, despite a rise in NPAs, reserves-to-NPAs declined to 0.67x from 1.39x in 1Q2007 implying that the bank has not been able to create adequate provisions to the corresponding rise in NPAs. 

 

Contracting net interest income margins: As Fed responds to rising inflation through rate hikes, banks' NIMs are expected to contract from the present levels. SunTrust's NIM had declined to 2.83% in 1Q2008 from 2.97% in 1Q2007. In addition to margin contraction, lower growth of high yielding riskier assets compared to deposit growth would be a double whammy on the bank's net interest income. SunTrust's net interest income declined 2.1% to $1.1 bn in 1Q2008.  We expect the bank's net interest income to continue to decline 2.0% and 0.1% in 2008 and 2009, respectively.

 

Higher mark-to-market write-downs to continue to be a drag on the bank's earnings: SunTrust's hard to value level 3 assets, which are the most illiquid securities, grew 495% over 1Q2007 to $4.5 bn at the end of 1Q2008 partly off purchases of level 3 assets and transfer of assets from level 2 to level 3 due to unobservable market inputs. As the liquidity in the credit markets dries up and spreads widen due to increased risk aversion, banks could see further write-downs in their loan portfolio. In 2007, SunTrust recorded a $700 mn valuation adjustment, with 4Q2007 alone contributing $555 mn of valuation adjustment. As Fed raises rates and economic problems worsen, SunTrust's credit spreads will widen off increased write-downs with an estimated valuation loss of $1,345 mn and $442 mn in 2008 and 2009, respectively

 

Noisy quarter for SunTrust to start 2008 performance: SunTrust's net income declined 46.2% to $269 mn from $499 mn in 1Q2007 with a reported EPS of $0.81 in 1Q2008 compared to $1.40 in 1Q2007. However, the 1Q2008 EPS included several non-recurring items including $86 mn of visa IPO gain, a $89 mn gain on sale of lighthouse, $37 mn gain on corporate real estate and $18 mn gain on mortgage production income, impacting the banks post tax EPS positively by $0.50 in 1Q2008. On the other hand, 1Q2007 EPS was impacted by a $32.3 mn gain on lighthouse and a charge of $13.8 mn related to implementation costs associated with E2, impacting banks 1Q2007 EPS by $0.04. Overall, SunTrust's EPS (adjusted for non-recurring gains) for 1Q2008 declined significantly to $0.31 compared with $1.36 in 1Q2007.

III.        Valuation

We have valued SunTrust based on a weighted average of price-to-adjusted book value (P/B) excluding intangible assets, price/sales (P/S) multiple and DCF approach with weights of 0.85, 0.05 and 0.10, respectively.  SunTrust's valuation based on price-to-adjusted book value (P/B), price/sales (P/S) multiple and DCF approach is $34.3, $34.1 and $18.6, respectively, translating into a weighted average share price of $32.72 implying a downward risk of 12.5% from the current market price of $37.40 (as of June 24, 2008). However, including the dilution impact considering an increase in tier 1 capital of $0.5 bn and $2.7 bn to maintain tier 1 capital of 6.0% and 7.5%, respectively, SunTrust's valuation per share based on adjusted book value per share comes to $32.2 and $28.5, respectively representing a downward potential of 10.5% and 20.8%, respectively....

 

 

 

 Download the pdf to see why we think that STI is full of it in regards to their not having to cut their dividend. The way I see it, there is no prudent way around it (emphasis on the word, "Prudent").

I am on the road now, but when I am stationary I will add highlights from the proprietary model to this post in order to illuminate the fact that the market has yet to fully price in STI's woes.