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Fundamentals of Corporate Credit Analysis

Analyse credit risks & ensure you can forsee downside risks
  • This course is module 1 of Corporate Credit Analysis School

    This course comprises three days of training in the fundamentals of corporate credit analysis, followed by the two days of training in debt structuring, acquisition finance and LBOs. You can attend either or both modules.
    After completing this course, you are invited to attend the 4-day Advanced Credit Analysis Course to take your knowledge even further.

    Through every business cycle, banks and other financial institutions lose billions of dollars as a result of their failure to analyse credit risk correctly and foresee downside risks. Even if these institutions do not suffer direct financial losses due to default / market movements, they may be receiving an inadequate return for the risks involved.
    Given the increasing use of leverage by both the private and public equity markets, combined with heightened sovereign and geo-political risks, in-depth credit analysis is essential to avoiding credit and currency losses.
    Led by a former Lehman Brothers & Credit Suisse First Boston Credit Analyst & Company Valuation Specialist with over 17 years’ experience, this course will show you how to analyse corporate credit risk and how to assess an appropriate return. It does not extend to the analysis of banks, insurance companies or structured vehicles.

    How will this course assist you?

    The course will help you create a framework for credit analysis that can be applied to a wide range of corporate credit situations. Through case study analysis you will learn to analyse thoroughly different types of corporates to allow you to make sound business decisions.

    During the first 3-day module, you will:

    • Review the main types of lending facilities, including loans, bonds and specialist credit products
    • Undertake detailed quantitative risk analysis including key credit ratios
    • Undertake financial modelling and forecasting in Excel
    • Practice how to apply sensitivity analysis
    • Analyse qualitative risk: sovereign, industry and company specific
    • Analyse the impact of corporate finance activity on credit quality
    • Analyse leverage in detail, including the determinants of leverage and the benefits to shareholders
    • Review credit ratings and the rating agencies’ approaches
    • Analyse the factors that determine credit pricing and assess whether credit investors earn sufficient reward for their risk over the credit cycle

    During the second 2-day module, you will:

    • Review structural factors such as ownership, double leverage, structural subordination and contractual subordination
    • Examine how to structure a firm’s debt funding
    • Review the markets and products for acquisition finance
    • Review the main considerations for structuring acquisition finance
    • Analyse and model leveraged buyouts
    • Review documentation, with a particular focus on covenants

    Who Should Attend?

    • Bank credit officers
    • Investment bankers
    • Management consultants
    • Bond credit analysts
    • Fixed income/credit traders
    • Fixed income/credit sales people
    • Fund managers
    • Treasurers
    • Compliance officers
    • Financial decision makers in corporations
  • Module 1: Fundamentals of corporate credit analysis
    Day 1

    Types of lending

    • Different types of credit facilities
    • The bond markets - high grade and high yield
    • Overview of current volumes and trends in the major credit markets
    • Credit default swaps
    Quantitative analysis
    Analysing and interpreting the P&L account
    • Background to ratio analysis
    • Analysing the income statement as the earning source for interest payments
    • Revenues and earnings – sources, sustainability, growth outlook, main risk factors
    • Key accounting factors – revenue recognition (IFRS 15), deferred revenue, expense allocation, derivatives (IFRS 9)
    • Understanding the nature of the cost base
    • Calculating finance income and expense, including derivatives and quasi debt
    • Adjusting for exceptional and non-core items – restructuring, provisions, impairments, discontinued items, MTM of financial assets and liabilities, disposal gains/losses, employee benefits (IAS 19), business combinations (IFRS 3), leases (IAS 17), customer loyalty programmes (IFRIC 13)
    • Use of EBITDAR, EBITDAX, EBITDA and EBIT – underlying and adjusted
    • Pitfalls of using EBITDA or adjusted EBITDA
    • Joint venture/associate earnings and NCI
    • Ratio analysis: margins (gross, EBITDAR, EBITDA, EBIT, pre-tax, net), interest cover, basic and enhanced dividend cover
    Case studies: establishing underlying EBITDA(R)
    Other case studies to analyse underlying operating performance

    Analysing and interpreting the cashflow statement

    • Analysing the cash profile of the firm – can the cashflow service the debt obligations?
    • IFRC layout – operating cashflow, NWC, investment & financing
    • Differences between operating earnings and operating cashflow
    • Impact of NWC movements on cashflow – considering seasonality
    • Deriving operating and net operating cashflow
    • Does operating cashflow cover tax, interest, investment spending, dividends?
    • Analysing the main sources and uses of cash
    • What are the main cash sources of debt service and debt repayment?
    • Primary and secondary sources of debt repayment
    • Reorganising the cashflow statement to show CADR
    • Cashflow based lending versus asset based lending
    • Ratio analysis: Interest and investment coverage; debt service and debt repayment coverage (DSCR), cash conversion ratios, dependence on external financing, cashflow based ROIC, dividend coverage
    Case studies: establishing underlying operating cashflow, sources of funding and reliance on external funding
    Other case studies to analyse underlying cashflow generation

    Day 2

    Quantitative analysis continued

    Analysing and interpreting the balance sheet

    • Analysing the balance sheet as the asset source for principal payment
    • Consolidation policies
    • The nature of the asset base and asset valuations
    • What constitutes debt, including derivatives, quasi-debt, pension deficits
    • Off balance sheet liabilities - adjusting for securitised receivables, operating leases, vendor funding, recourse financing, contingent liabilities, letters of credit, performance guarantees etc
    • Provisions, deferred tax, deferred revenues
    • Analysing net working capital
    • Liquidity analysis
    • The equity base and reserves
    • NCI, joint ventures and equity accounting
    • Ratio analysis: various leverage ratios, liquidity, current ratio, quick ratio, cash ratio, asset coverage, working capital ratios (inventory turnover, accounts receivable turnover, accounts payable turnover), ROIC, ROE, asset turnover, Dupont analysis
    Case studies: analysis of a range of balance sheets from different sectors, as well as of off balance sheet liabilities
    Other topics in financial analysis
    • Analysing the notes to the financial statements
    • Assessing debt capacity: balancing growth with asset turnover and financial policy
    • Accounting factors; how results can be manipulated
    Day 3
    Modelling and forecasting in Excel
    • Creation of full financial forecasting models
    • Creation of assumptions – what are the critical value drivers?
    • Return analysis
    • Creation of covenant package
    • LBO model
    • Sensitivity analysis – base case, management case, downside cases
    • Case studies: modelling with Excel of historic accounts, creation of forecasts, calculation and analysis of ratios, creation of covenants. Creating a refinancing package for a cyclical company. Modelling different scenarios in one worksheet.
    Leverage analysis


    • The advantages and disadvantages of leverage: debt versus. equity
    • Suitability for leverage
    • Determinants of leverage
    • Impact of shareholder value considerations on credit quality
    Business risk analysis (qualitative factors)
    • What are the key business risks faced by the firm and are there any mitigating factors?
    • Analysis of the sovereign and macro-economic conditions
    • What are the levels of and trends in sovereign credit ratings where the firm has its main areas of activity?
    • What are the macro-economic conditions, including currency, inflation, interest rates, growth rates, political risks etc?
    • Key themes for 2017/18 
    Analysis of the industry and market
    • What is the competitive landscape - Porter’s five forces
    • What is the growth outlook? - Industry life cycle and cyclicality
    • What is the earnings quality?
    • What are the leading indicators?
    • What are the pricing dynamics;? demand versus. supply
    • Is the business environment changing?
    • Regulation
    • Capital intensity and the cost base
    • Case study: review credit of company in changing industry environment
    Analysis of the company’s specific characteristics

    Management, the Board and corporate governance
    Operating, capital and corporate finance strategies
    Competitive advantages and cost position – does the firm create value?
    Product/service offering, differentiation and pricing power
    Diversification versus focus;
    Vertical integration versus sub-contracting
    Buyer power and supplier power
    The 7 Ms
    Impact of corporate finance transactions on credit quality
    • Mergers, acquisitions, disposals, breakups, demergers, LBOs, etc
    • Is the impact positive, negative or neutral ?
    • Case studies: impact of M&A on credit quality
    Credit ratings
    • Rating scales and definitions
    • Definitions of key financial variables and ratios
    • Recovery ratings
    • Relevance of sovereign ratings
    • Advantages and limitations of the rating agencies
    Pricing for bonds and loans
    • Review of pricing trends?
    • What are the factors that determine credit pricing?
    • Are credit investors earning enough to cover their risks over the credit cycle?


  • Our Tailored Learning Offering

    Do you have five or more people interested in attending this course? Do you want to tailor it to meet your company’s exact requirements? If you’d like to do either of these, we can bring this course to your company’s office. You could even save up to 50% on the cost of sending delegates to a public course and dramatically increase your ROI.

    If you want to run this course at a location convenient to you or if you want a completely customised learning solution, we can help.

    We produce learning solutions that are completely unique to your business. We’ll guide you through the whole process, from the initial consultancy to evaluating the success of the full learning experience. Our learning specialists ensure you get the maximum return on your training investment.

  • We have a combined experience of over 60 years providing learning solutions to the world’s major organisations and are privileged to have contributed to their success. We view our clients as partners and focus on understanding the needs of each organisation we work with to tailor learning solutions to specific requirements.

    We are proud of our record of customer satisfaction. Here is why you should choose us to help you achieve your goals and accelerate your career:

    • Quality – our clients consistently rate our performance ‘excellent’ or ‘outstanding’. Our average overall score awarded to us by our clients is nine out of ten.
    • Track record – 10/10 of the world’s largest banks have chosen us as there training provider and we have delivered training across the largest banks and have trained over 25,000 professionals.
    • Knowledge – our 100+ strong team of industry specialist trainers are world leading financial leaders and commentators, ensuring our knowledge base is second to none.
    • Reliability – if we promise it, we deliver it. We have delivered over 25,000 events both in person and online, using simultaneous translation to delegates from over 99 countries.
    • Recognition – we are accredited by the British Accreditation Council and the CPD Certification Service. In an independent review by Feefo we scored 4.2/5 on service and 4.7/5 on Coursecheck
This course can be run as an In-house or Tailored Learning programme


  • Sarah Martin

    Banks and other financial institutions can lose billions of dollars annually due to their failure to analyse and anticipate credit risks correctly. That's where my training course comes in.


    Former Executive Director of CSFB and Lehman Brothers, the Course Director has spent seventeen years working as an investment banker in Europe and the US. She has principally worked in the credit markets and has experience of the US and European high grade and high yield markets, the European new issue markets, the Asian convertible bond markets and of corporate restructurings of distressed credits. She specialised in the telecoms sector and was closely involved in the structuring, raising and/or trading of bank and public debt for telecoms companies in many countries, including Europe, South Africa, Asia and Latin America. She also has extensive experience of corporate finance transactions, including mergers, disposals, privatisations, IPOs and capital raisings. Until 2003, she was an Executive Director at Lehman Brothers in Fixed Income Research in London, having also worked for CS First Boston and Kleinwort Benson. She now works on an independent basis advising the legal and private equity professions on credit analysis and company valuation. She has a degree in economics from the London School of Economics and stock exchange qualifications from London and New York.