Does Flinders Mines (ASX:FMS) Have A Healthy Balance Sheet?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
October 19, 2021
ASX:FMS
Source: Shutterstock

Warren Buffett famously said, 'Volatility is far from synonymous with risk.' When we think about how risky a company is, we always like to look at its use of debt, since debt overload can lead to ruin. As with many other companies Flinders Mines Limited (ASX:FMS) makes use of debt. But the more important question is: how much risk is that debt creating?

When Is Debt A Problem?

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. Ultimately, if the company can't fulfill its legal obligations to repay debt, shareholders could walk away with nothing. 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. Of course, debt can be an important tool in businesses, particularly capital heavy businesses. The first step when considering a company's debt levels is to consider its cash and debt together.

See our latest analysis for Flinders Mines

How Much Debt Does Flinders Mines Carry?

As you can see below, Flinders Mines had AU$3.19m of debt, at June 2021, which is about the same as the year before. You can click the chart for greater detail. On the flip side, it has AU$2.94m in cash leading to net debt of about AU$250.0k.

debt-equity-history-analysis
ASX:FMS Debt to Equity History October 19th 2021

How Strong Is Flinders Mines' Balance Sheet?

Zooming in on the latest balance sheet data, we can see that Flinders Mines had liabilities of AU$6.08m due within 12 months and liabilities of AU$2.18m due beyond that. Offsetting this, it had AU$2.94m in cash and AU$40.0k in receivables that were due within 12 months. So its liabilities outweigh the sum of its cash and (near-term) receivables by AU$5.28m.

Given Flinders Mines has a market capitalization of AU$142.7m, it's hard to believe these liabilities pose much threat. However, we do think it is worth keeping an eye on its balance sheet strength, as it may change over time. Carrying virtually no net debt, Flinders Mines has a very light debt load indeed. When analysing debt levels, the balance sheet is the obvious place to start. But you can't view debt in total isolation; since Flinders Mines will need earnings to service that debt. So when considering debt, it's definitely worth looking at the earnings trend. Click here for an interactive snapshot.

Since Flinders Mines has no significant operating revenue, shareholders probably hope it will develop a valuable new mine before too long.

Caveat Emptor

Importantly, Flinders Mines had an earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) loss over the last year. To be specific the EBIT loss came in at AU$3.2m. Considering that alongside the liabilities mentioned above does not give us much confidence that company should be using so much debt. Quite frankly we think the balance sheet is far from match-fit, although it could be improved with time. Another cause for caution is that is bled AU$9.3m in negative free cash flow over the last twelve months. So suffice it to say we consider the stock very risky. 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 3 warning signs for Flinders Mines you should know about.

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.

Discounted cash flow calculation for every stock

Simply Wall St does a detailed discounted cash flow calculation every 6 hours for every stock on the market, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any company just search here. It’s FREE.

Make Confident Investment Decisions

Simply Wall St's Editorial Team provides unbiased, factual reporting on global stocks using in-depth fundamental analysis.
Find out more about our editorial guidelines and team.