Stealth Global Holdings (ASX:SGI) Has A Somewhat Strained Balance Sheet

By
Simply Wall St
Published
July 01, 2021
ASX:SGI
Source: Shutterstock

Some say volatility, rather than debt, is the best way to think about risk as an investor, but Warren Buffett famously said that 'Volatility is far from synonymous with risk.' It's only natural to consider a company's balance sheet when you examine how risky it is, since debt is often involved when a business collapses. As with many other companies Stealth Global Holdings Limited (ASX:SGI) makes use of debt. But is this debt a concern to shareholders?

What Risk Does Debt Bring?

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. However, a more frequent (but still costly) occurrence is where a company must issue shares at bargain-basement prices, permanently diluting shareholders, just to shore up its balance sheet. Having said that, the most common situation is where a company manages its debt reasonably well - and to its own advantage. The first step when considering a company's debt levels is to consider its cash and debt together.

Check out our latest analysis for Stealth Global Holdings

What Is Stealth Global Holdings's Debt?

You can click the graphic below for the historical numbers, but it shows that as of December 2020 Stealth Global Holdings had AU$7.25m of debt, an increase on AU$4.76m, over one year. However, it also had AU$2.45m in cash, and so its net debt is AU$4.80m.

debt-equity-history-analysis
ASX:SGI Debt to Equity History July 2nd 2021

How Strong Is Stealth Global Holdings' Balance Sheet?

We can see from the most recent balance sheet that Stealth Global Holdings had liabilities of AU$20.5m falling due within a year, and liabilities of AU$6.90m due beyond that. Offsetting this, it had AU$2.45m in cash and AU$10.1m in receivables that were due within 12 months. So its liabilities total AU$14.8m more than the combination of its cash and short-term receivables.

Given this deficit is actually higher than the company's market capitalization of AU$11.5m, 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 measure a company's debt load relative to its earnings power by looking at its net debt divided by its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) and by calculating how easily its earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) cover its interest expense (interest cover). Thus we consider debt relative to earnings both with and without depreciation and amortization expenses.

Stealth Global Holdings has a debt to EBITDA ratio of 3.4 and its EBIT covered its interest expense 2.7 times. Taken together this implies that, while we wouldn't want to see debt levels rise, we think it can handle its current leverage. The good news is that Stealth Global Holdings grew its EBIT a smooth 95% over the last twelve months. Like the milk of human kindness that sort of growth increases resilience, making the company more capable of managing debt. There's no doubt that we learn most about debt from the balance sheet. But ultimately the future profitability of the business will decide if Stealth Global Holdings can strengthen its balance sheet over time. So if you're focused on the future you can check out this free report showing analyst profit forecasts.

Finally, a company can only pay off debt with cold hard cash, not accounting profits. So we always check how much of that EBIT is translated into free cash flow. In the last three years, Stealth Global Holdings created free cash flow amounting to 20% of its EBIT, an uninspiring performance. For us, cash conversion that low sparks a little paranoia about is ability to extinguish debt.

Our View

On the face of it, Stealth Global Holdings's interest cover left us tentative about the stock, and its level of total liabilities was no more enticing than the one empty restaurant on the busiest night of the year. But at least it's pretty decent at growing its EBIT; that's encouraging. Looking at the balance sheet and taking into account all these factors, we do believe that debt is making Stealth Global Holdings stock a bit risky. Some people like that sort of risk, but we're mindful of the potential pitfalls, so we'd probably prefer it carry less debt. When analysing debt levels, the balance sheet is the obvious place to start. But ultimately, every company can contain risks that exist outside of the balance sheet. These risks can be hard to spot. Every company has them, and we've spotted 4 warning signs for Stealth Global Holdings (of which 2 make us uncomfortable!) you should know about.

If, after all that, you're more interested in a fast growing company with a rock-solid balance sheet, then check out our list of net cash growth stocks without delay.

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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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