Certificate in Corporate Credit Analysis

Fitch Learning

How long?

  • 4 days
  • online

Fitch Learning


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Who should attend

Anyone with an interest in building or further enhancing their corporate analysis skills: Financial professionals in a credit risk, asset investment or relationship management role, as well as those engaged in the assessment of counterparty risk from an underwriting viewpoint or trade debtor exposure. Regulators or those in a supervisory role with an interest in understanding the underlying credit assessment needed in the organizations or departments they assess. Participants are expected to be familiar with financial statements.

About the course

This certificate program follows the same structure as the Corporate Credit Analysis course. Following this course, participants will be given three months to complete the online assessment to gain their certificate. The overall goal is to enhance analytic skills needed in the assessment of corporate borrowers or counterparties. Participants will use a structured and systematic approach to evaluate the credit standing of companies in a variety of industrial and service industries.

Key Learning Outcomes:

  • Apply a structured approach to assess the creditworthiness of a borrower
  • Evaluate the performance of a company based on qualitative and quantitative frameworks and tools
  • Identify the key factors that drive a company's future performance and evaluate the likely impact on its credit standing
  • Use a cash flow approach to ascertain a company's ability to service/refinance its debt as it comes due
  • Use appropriate market indicators, where available, to understand refinancing risk and the market view on a credit

Online Assessment

Participants will be given a secure link to the assessment page after completion of the programme. The assessment consists of an untimed multiple choice test where they will be called upon to demonstrate some of the knowledge and skills that they have learned over the 4 days.

Content Overview

Case studies and exercises are drawn from a range of industries and regions, and where possible include investment grade and sub-investment grade companies operating in mature and/or developing financial markets.

Day One

Analytic Overview

Introduction of the four-step approach to any risk exposure: Purpose of transaction, sources of repayment, risks to repayment and structure of debt or exposure needed to safeguard repayment.

  • Application: Identify the true purpose of borrowing, the source(s) and risk of repayment, and the expected structure of the debt for several companies using company descriptions and key financials

Macro Considerations

Macro risks in the operating environment, financial markets, and industrial sector a borrower operates in.

  • Location: Country risk and markets where a borrower raises funds
  • Application: Identify countries in different stages of development and levels of perceived sovereign risk
  • Sector: Competitive intensity of the sector(s) a borrower operates in; structure, key players, basis of competition, risk of new entrants, substitution and relative bargaining power of buyers and suppliers
  • Long-term growth potential and volatility of demand
  • Application: Illustration case study provided as pre-course material
  • Application: Identify asset configurations, funding structures and earnings of companies in different sectors

Management and Ownership

The role and strategy of the management team, and the influence and control of shareholders are assessed.

  • Management’s business and financial strategy and performance goals
  • Corporate governance and reporting structure
  • Group structure and shareholders
  • Quality of financial reporting
  • Application: Illustration case study provided as pre-course material

Business Profile

Understanding a company’s business strategy in the context of sector, country of operation and shareholder requirements.

  • Diversity of services/products, geographical end markets, customer and suppliers.
  • Competitive position: Product dominance and a company’s relative market position. Comparative size and possible operating efficiencies.
  • Sector-specific factors.
  • Application: Illustration case study provided as pre-course material.

Day Two

Financial Profile – Cash Flow and Profitability

Assessment of the quality and stability of earnings and cash flows from operations needed to finance operations and capital investments (‘Business Risk’).

Earnings and cash flow

  • Internal and/or external factors impacting revenues and core profitability
  • Performance vs. the market and per division/geography
  • Application: Case study with exposure to FX and commodity prices
  • Impact on performance by non-operating items
  • Looking beyond EBITDA at sustainability of funds flow from core operation (e.g. funds from operations – before changes in working capital)
  • Application: Illustration case study using additional financial ratio and sector peer information

Asset investment and efficiency

  • Working capital management, cash conversion cycle and supplier finance
  • Application: Comparison of cash conversion of companies operating in the same sector
  • Cash flow impact of the company’s working capital management stability of cash flow from operations
  • Expansion or replacement asset investment in on-balance sheet fixed and intangible assets
  • Industry-specific utilization measures and off-balance sheet ‘assets’
  • Example(s)
  • Application: Illustration case study using additional financial ratio and sector peer information

Forecasting and sensitizing key cash flow drivers

  • Forecast operating performance and asset investment requirements using a basic Excel cash flow model calculation of present value of cash flow available for debt service.
  • Application: Illustration case study. Set scenarios to test the robustness of future cash generation and key vulnerabilities.

Day Three

Financial Profile – Funding Structure and Financial Flexibility

Evaluation of the appropriateness of a company’s funding structure and ability to service its financial obligations (‘Financial Risk’).

Capital structure and funding instruments used

  • Financial discipline and dependency on external financing
  • Funding instruments used, tenor, currency of the debt and any off-balance sheet financial obligations
  • Financial leverage and comparison with the business risk from operations
  • Application: Illustration case study using additional financial ratio and sector peer information

Financial profile – financial flexibility

  • Debt service capability: Affordability of the level of debt – meeting interest and debt repayments obligations (debt service) from internally generated cash over the past years and based on future cash flow available for debt service
  • Application: Assessment of the capital structure and debt service capability for several companies operating in a similar sector
  • Debt capacity assessment: Present value of future cash available for debt service
  • Foreign exchange exposure, hedging strategies and potential impact on cash flow and debt servicing capability
  • Refinancing risk and liquidity: Ability to meet short-term financial obligations as they fall due from current operations
  • Application: Illustration case study using additional financial ratio and sector peer information

Fitch Ratings Corporate Navigator

  • Application: Illustration of how the interactive tool uses similar credit risk factors in assessing an issuer default rating

Day Four

Debt Structure

Overview of main elements of debt structures. (These topics are covered in greater detail in our ‘Capital Structures and Debt Products’ course.)

  • Ranking: Different ways to achieve seniority or pari passu ranking vs. other capital providers
  • Safeguards: The use of financial and non-financial covenants to mitigate risk
  • Pricing fundamentals: Bond and loan prices
  • Market indicators of credit risk: Credit ratings, bond spreads vs. rating curves, share price

Final Group Case Studies

The aim of the final group case study is to allow participants to apply the framework and tools of credit analysis to a company and make a concise and conclusive presentation to the group on the final day of the course:

  • Companies used for the group case studies vary per location of the course and will be provided for reading in the evening of the penultimate day
  • Preparation and presentation of a complete credit analysis in small groups of two to five participants takes place on the last day

Videos and materials

Certificate in Corporate Credit Analysis at Fitch Learning

From  GBP 3 295$4,495
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Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

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