Stock Analysis

We Think Ouro Fino Saúde Animal Participações (BVMF:OFSA3) Can Stay On Top Of Its Debt

BOVESPA:OFSA3
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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.' 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 Ouro Fino Saúde Animal Participações S.A. (BVMF:OFSA3) makes use of debt. But is this debt a concern to shareholders?

When Is Debt Dangerous?

Debt assists a business until the business has trouble paying it off, either with new capital or with free cash flow. Part and parcel of capitalism is the process of 'creative destruction' where failed businesses are mercilessly liquidated by their bankers. 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. By replacing dilution, though, debt can be an extremely good tool for businesses that need capital to invest in growth at high rates of return. The first step when considering a company's debt levels is to consider its cash and debt together.

View our latest analysis for Ouro Fino Saúde Animal Participações

How Much Debt Does Ouro Fino Saúde Animal Participações Carry?

The chart below, which you can click on for greater detail, shows that Ouro Fino Saúde Animal Participações had R$323.0m in debt in September 2021; about the same as the year before. However, it does have R$183.2m in cash offsetting this, leading to net debt of about R$139.9m.

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BOVESPA:OFSA3 Debt to Equity History February 1st 2022

How Healthy Is Ouro Fino Saúde Animal Participações' Balance Sheet?

According to the last reported balance sheet, Ouro Fino Saúde Animal Participações had liabilities of R$239.0m due within 12 months, and liabilities of R$247.4m due beyond 12 months. Offsetting these obligations, it had cash of R$183.2m as well as receivables valued at R$228.5m due within 12 months. So its liabilities total R$74.7m more than the combination of its cash and short-term receivables.

Since publicly traded Ouro Fino Saúde Animal Participações shares are worth a total of R$1.36b, it seems unlikely that this level of liabilities would be a major threat. However, we do think it is worth keeping an eye on its balance sheet strength, as it may change over time.

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). This way, we consider both the absolute quantum of the debt, as well as the interest rates paid on it.

Ouro Fino Saúde Animal Participações has a low net debt to EBITDA ratio of only 0.83. And its EBIT easily covers its interest expense, being 12.6 times the size. So you could argue it is no more threatened by its debt than an elephant is by a mouse. Also positive, Ouro Fino Saúde Animal Participações grew its EBIT by 23% in the last year, and that should make it easier to pay down debt, going forward. There's no doubt that we learn most about debt from the balance sheet. But you can't view debt in total isolation; since Ouro Fino Saúde Animal Participações will need earnings to service that debt. So if you're keen to discover more about its earnings, it might be worth checking out this graph of its long term earnings trend.

But our final consideration is also important, because a company cannot pay debt with paper profits; it needs cold hard cash. So we clearly need to look at whether that EBIT is leading to corresponding free cash flow. Looking at the most recent three years, Ouro Fino Saúde Animal Participações recorded free cash flow of 36% of its EBIT, which is weaker than we'd expect. That weak cash conversion makes it more difficult to handle indebtedness.

Our View

Ouro Fino Saúde Animal Participações's interest cover suggests it can handle its debt as easily as Cristiano Ronaldo could score a goal against an under 14's goalkeeper. But truth be told we feel its conversion of EBIT to free cash flow does undermine this impression a bit. Taking all this data into account, it seems to us that Ouro Fino Saúde Animal Participações takes a pretty sensible approach to debt. That means they are taking on a bit more risk, in the hope of boosting shareholder returns. Over time, share prices tend to follow earnings per share, so if you're interested in Ouro Fino Saúde Animal Participações, you may well want to click here to check an interactive graph of its earnings per share history.

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.

Valuation is complex, but we're helping make it simple.

Find out whether Ouro Fino Saúde Animal Participações is potentially over or undervalued by checking out our comprehensive analysis, which includes fair value estimates, risks and warnings, dividends, insider transactions and financial health.

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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.