Is Teras Resources Inc. (CVE:TRA) A Financially Sound Company?

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Zero-debt allows substantial financial flexibility, especially for small-cap companies like Teras Resources Inc. (CVE:TRA), as the company does not have to adhere to strict debt covenants. However, it also faces higher cost of capital given interest cost is generally lower than equity. While TRA has no debt on its balance sheet, it doesn’t necessarily mean it exhibits financial strength. I recommend you look at the following hurdles to assess TRA’s financial health.

See our latest analysis for Teras Resources

Does TRA’s growth rate justify its decision for financial flexibility over lower cost of capital?

Debt capital generally has lower cost of capital compared to equity funding. However, the trade-off is debtholders’ higher claim on company assets in the event of liquidation and stringent obligations around capital management. Either TRA does not have access to cheap capital, or it may believe this trade-off is not worth it. This makes sense only if the company has a competitive edge and is growing fast off its equity capital. Opposite to the high growth we were expecting, TRA’s negative revenue growth of -35% hardly justifies opting for zero-debt. If the decline sustains, it may find it hard to raise debt at an acceptable cost.

TSXV:TRA Historical Debt February 14th 19
TSXV:TRA Historical Debt February 14th 19

Can TRA meet its short-term obligations with the cash in hand?

Since Teras Resources doesn’t have any debt on its balance sheet, it doesn’t have any solvency issues, which is a term used to describe the company’s ability to meet its long-term obligations. But another important aspect of financial health is liquidity: the company’s ability to meet short-term obligations, including payments to suppliers and employees. Looking at TRA’s CA$186k in current liabilities, the company has been able to meet these commitments with a current assets level of CA$216k, leading to a 1.16x current account ratio. Usually, for Metals and Mining companies, this is a suitable ratio since there’s a sufficient cash cushion without leaving too much capital idle or in low-earning investments.

Next Steps:

TRA is a fast-growing firm, which supports having have zero-debt and financial freedom to continue to ramp up growth. Since there is also no concerns around TRA’s liquidity needs, this may be its optimal capital structure for the time being. Moving forward, its financial position may be different. This is only a rough assessment of financial health, and I’m sure TRA has company-specific issues impacting its capital structure decisions. I suggest you continue to research Teras Resources to get a more holistic view of the stock by looking at:

  1. Historical Performance: What has TRA’s returns been like over the past? Go into more detail in the past track record analysis and take a look at the free visual representations of our analysis for more clarity.
  2. Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore our free list of these great stocks here.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.