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Rising Expenses, Lack of Diversification Hurt M&T Bank (MTB)

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On May 18, we issued an updated research report on M&T Bank Corporation (MTB - Free Report) . The Buffalo, NY-based banking giant’s future prospects look bleak on the persistently rising non-interest operating expense, deteriorating credit metrics, and lack of diversification in its loan portfolio amid the coronavirus mayhem.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for M&T Bank’s current-year and next-year earnings moved 41% and 24.3% south, respectively, over the past 60 days. The company currently carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

Also, its shares have depreciated 43.9% over the past six months compared with the industry’s decline of 36.5%.

With the persistently rising non-interest operating expenses, M&T Bank is exposed to operational risks. It witnessed a CAGR of 5.3% over the last five years (2015-2019), with the trend continuing in the first three months of 2020. Further, given the ongoing investments in several areas, including operational infrastructure and technology, the company’s expense base is likely to be under pressure.

Deteriorating credit metrics are a headwind for the company. Provision for credit losses witnessed a five-year CAGR of 1% in 2019, with some annual volatility. In first-quarter 2020, provisions rose significantly due to the adoption of a new accounting method and the coronavirus-related crisis. Further, non-performing assets disappointed with a five-year CAGR of 1.3% in 2019, with the rising trend continuing in first-quarter 2020.

M&T Bank has substantial exposure to commercial and real estate construction loans. As of Mar 31, 2020, the company’s exposure to the loan portfolio was approximately 67% of the total loans. Such high exposure to commercial loans reflects the lack of diversification, which can be risky for the company amid a challenging economy and competitive markets.

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