Is Ragnar Metals Limited’s (ASX:RAG) Balance Sheet Strong Enough To Weather A Storm?

The direct benefit for Ragnar Metals Limited (ASX:RAG), which sports a zero-debt capital structure, to include debt in its capital structure is the reduced cost of capital. However, the trade-off is RAG will have to adhere to stricter debt covenants and have less financial flexibility. While RAG has no debt on its balance sheet, it doesn’t necessarily mean it exhibits financial strength. I will take you through a few basic checks to assess the financial health of companies with no debt.

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Is RAG right in choosing financial flexibility over lower cost of capital?

There are well-known benefits of including debt in capital structure, primarily a lower cost of capital. However, the trade-off is debtholders’ higher claim on company assets in the event of liquidation and stringent obligations around capital management. RAG’s absence of debt on its balance sheet may be due to lack of access to cheaper capital, or it may simply believe low cost is not worth sacrificing financial flexibility. However, choosing flexibility over capital returns is logical only if it’s a high-growth company. RAG delivered a strikingly high triple-digit revenue growth over the past year, therefore the company’s decision to choose financial flexibility is justified as it may need headroom to borrow in the future to sustain high growth.

ASX:RAG Historical Debt January 23rd 19
ASX:RAG Historical Debt January 23rd 19

Does RAG’s liquid assets cover its short-term commitments?

Since Ragnar Metals 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. At the current liabilities level of AU$147k, it seems that the business has maintained a safe level of current assets to meet its obligations, with the current ratio last standing at 10x. Having said that, a ratio greater than 3x may be considered high by some.

Next Steps:

RAG is a fast-growing firm, which supports having have zero-debt and financial freedom to continue to ramp up growth. This may mean this is an optimal capital structure for the business, given that it is also meeting its short-term commitment. In the future, RAG’s financial situation may change. I admit this is a fairly basic analysis for RAG’s financial health. Other important fundamentals need to be considered alongside. You should continue to research Ragnar Metals to get a better picture of the stock by looking at:

  1. Historical Performance: What has RAG’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.