- Commercial Services
We Think Boyd Group Services (TSE:BYD) Can Stay On Top Of Its Debt
The external fund manager backed by Berkshire Hathaway's Charlie Munger, Li Lu, makes no bones about it when he says 'The biggest investment risk is not the volatility of prices, but whether you will suffer a permanent loss of capital.' 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. We can see that Boyd Group Services Inc. (TSE:BYD) does use debt in its business. But is this debt a concern to shareholders?
When Is Debt A Problem?
Debt and other liabilities become risky for a business when it cannot easily fulfill those obligations, either with free cash flow or by raising capital at an attractive price. Ultimately, if the company can't fulfill its legal obligations to repay debt, shareholders could walk away with nothing. However, a more usual (but still expensive) situation is where a company must dilute shareholders at a cheap share price simply to get debt under control. Of course, debt can be an important tool in businesses, particularly capital heavy businesses. The first thing to do when considering how much debt a business uses is to look at its cash and debt together.
See our latest analysis for Boyd Group Services
What Is Boyd Group Services's Debt?
The image below, which you can click on for greater detail, shows that at September 2021 Boyd Group Services had debt of US$385.1m, up from US$211.7m in one year. On the flip side, it has US$31.2m in cash leading to net debt of about US$353.9m.
A Look At Boyd Group Services' Liabilities
The latest balance sheet data shows that Boyd Group Services had liabilities of US$377.5m due within a year, and liabilities of US$876.5m falling due after that. Offsetting these obligations, it had cash of US$31.2m as well as receivables valued at US$112.0m due within 12 months. So its liabilities outweigh the sum of its cash and (near-term) receivables by US$1.11b.
This deficit isn't so bad because Boyd Group Services is worth US$3.22b, and thus could probably raise enough capital to shore up its balance sheet, if the need arose. But we definitely want to keep our eyes open to indications that its debt is bringing too much risk.
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.
Boyd Group Services's net debt is sitting at a very reasonable 2.4 times its EBITDA, while its EBIT covered its interest expense just 3.0 times last year. While these numbers do not alarm us, it's worth noting that the cost of the company's debt is having a real impact. We saw Boyd Group Services grow its EBIT by 4.6% in the last twelve months. Whilst that hardly knocks our socks off it is a positive when it comes to debt. The balance sheet is clearly the area to focus on when you are analysing debt. But it is future earnings, more than anything, that will determine Boyd Group Services's ability to maintain a healthy balance sheet going forward. So if you want to see what the professionals think, you might find this free report on analyst profit forecasts to be interesting.
Finally, a business needs free cash flow to pay off debt; accounting profits just don't cut it. So we clearly need to look at whether that EBIT is leading to corresponding free cash flow. Happily for any shareholders, Boyd Group Services actually produced more free cash flow than EBIT over the last three years. There's nothing better than incoming cash when it comes to staying in your lenders' good graces.
When it comes to the balance sheet, the standout positive for Boyd Group Services was the fact that it seems able to convert EBIT to free cash flow confidently. However, our other observations weren't so heartening. For example, its interest cover makes us a little nervous about its debt. Considering this range of data points, we think Boyd Group Services is in a good position to manage its debt levels. Having said that, the load is sufficiently heavy that we would recommend any shareholders keep a close eye on it. The balance sheet is clearly the area to focus on when you are analysing debt. But ultimately, every company can contain risks that exist outside of the balance sheet. Case in point: We've spotted 2 warning signs for Boyd Group Services you should be aware of, and 1 of them is a bit unpleasant.
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. 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.
Boyd Group Services
Boyd Group Services Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates non-franchised collision repair centers in North America.
Proven track record with reasonable growth potential.