Does Stealth Global Holdings (ASX:SGI) Have A Healthy Balance Sheet?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
November 04, 2021
ASX:SGI
Source: Shutterstock

Legendary fund manager Li Lu (who Charlie Munger backed) once said, 'The biggest investment risk is not the volatility of prices, but whether you will suffer a permanent loss of capital.' So it seems the smart money knows that debt - which is usually involved in bankruptcies - is a very important factor, when you assess how risky a company is. As with many other companies Stealth Global Holdings Limited (ASX:SGI) makes use of debt. But is this debt a concern to shareholders?

When Is Debt Dangerous?

Generally speaking, debt only becomes a real problem when a company can't easily pay it off, either by raising capital or with its own cash flow. If things get really bad, the lenders can take control of the business. While that is not too common, we often do see indebted companies permanently diluting shareholders because lenders force them to raise capital at a distressed price. Having said that, the most common situation is where a company manages its debt reasonably well - and to its own advantage. When we examine debt levels, we first consider both cash and debt levels, together.

View our latest analysis for Stealth Global Holdings

What Is Stealth Global Holdings's Net Debt?

You can click the graphic below for the historical numbers, but it shows that as of June 2021 Stealth Global Holdings had AU$8.78m of debt, an increase on AU$3.88m, over one year. On the flip side, it has AU$3.11m in cash leading to net debt of about AU$5.67m.

debt-equity-history-analysis
ASX:SGI Debt to Equity History November 5th 2021

How Strong Is Stealth Global Holdings' Balance Sheet?

The latest balance sheet data shows that Stealth Global Holdings had liabilities of AU$22.7m due within a year, and liabilities of AU$7.23m falling due after that. Offsetting these obligations, it had cash of AU$3.11m as well as receivables valued at AU$11.4m due within 12 months. So it has liabilities totalling AU$15.4m more than its cash and near-term receivables, combined.

Given this deficit is actually higher than the company's market capitalization of AU$13.5m, we think shareholders really should watch Stealth Global Holdings's debt levels, like a parent watching their child ride a bike for the first time. Hypothetically, extremely heavy dilution would be required if the company were forced to pay down its liabilities by raising capital at the current share price.

We use two main ratios to inform us about debt levels relative to earnings. The first is net debt divided by earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA), while the second is how many times its earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) covers its interest expense (or its interest cover, for short). This way, we consider both the absolute quantum of the debt, as well as the interest rates paid on it.

Stealth Global Holdings's net debt is sitting at a very reasonable 1.9 times its EBITDA, while its EBIT covered its interest expense just 5.6 times last year. While that doesn't worry us too much, it does suggest the interest payments are somewhat of a burden. Notably, Stealth Global Holdings's EBIT launched higher than Elon Musk, gaining a whopping 715% on last year. There's no doubt that we learn most about debt from the balance sheet. But it is future earnings, more than anything, that will determine Stealth Global Holdings's ability to maintain a healthy balance sheet going forward. So if you're focused on the future you can check out this free report showing analyst profit forecasts.

Finally, a business needs free cash flow to pay off debt; accounting profits just don't cut it. So it's worth checking how much of that EBIT is backed by free cash flow. Considering the last three years, Stealth Global Holdings actually recorded a cash outflow, overall. Debt is far more risky for companies with unreliable free cash flow, so shareholders should be hoping that the past expenditure will produce free cash flow in the future.

Our View

Neither Stealth Global Holdings's ability to convert EBIT to free cash flow nor its level of total liabilities gave us confidence in its ability to take on more debt. But the good news is it seems to be able to grow its EBIT with ease. Taking the abovementioned factors together we do think Stealth Global Holdings's debt poses some risks to the business. While that debt can boost returns, we think the company has enough leverage now. When analysing debt levels, the balance sheet is the obvious place to start. However, not all investment risk resides within the balance sheet - far from it. To that end, you should learn about the 5 warning signs we've spotted with Stealth Global Holdings (including 1 which is significant) .

If you're interested in investing in businesses that can grow profits without the burden of debt, then check out this free list of growing businesses that have net cash on the balance sheet.

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