Stock Analysis

These 4 Measures Indicate That BIOREM (CVE:BRM) Is Using Debt Reasonably Well

TSXV:BRM
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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. We note that BIOREM Inc. (CVE:BRM) does have debt on its balance sheet. 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. If things get really bad, the lenders can take control of the business. While that is not too common, we often do see indebted companies permanently diluting shareholders because lenders force them to raise capital at a distressed price. 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.

Check out our latest analysis for BIOREM

What Is BIOREM's Net Debt?

The image below, which you can click on for greater detail, shows that at December 2021 BIOREM had debt of CA$5.01m, up from none in one year. However, it does have CA$4.47m in cash offsetting this, leading to net debt of about CA$538.7k.

debt-equity-history-analysis
TSXV:BRM Debt to Equity History May 20th 2022

How Strong Is BIOREM's Balance Sheet?

Zooming in on the latest balance sheet data, we can see that BIOREM had liabilities of CA$13.2m due within 12 months and liabilities of CA$3.97m due beyond that. Offsetting this, it had CA$4.47m in cash and CA$10.1m in receivables that were due within 12 months. So it has liabilities totalling CA$2.60m more than its cash and near-term receivables, combined.

This deficit isn't so bad because BIOREM is worth CA$11.0m, and thus could probably raise enough capital to shore up its balance sheet, if the need arose. However, it is still worthwhile taking a close look at its ability to pay off debt.

We use two main ratios to inform us about debt levels relative to earnings. The first is net debt divided by earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA), while the second is how many times its earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) covers its interest expense (or its interest cover, for short). This way, we consider both the absolute quantum of the debt, as well as the interest rates paid on it.

BIOREM has a low net debt to EBITDA ratio of only 0.22. And its EBIT covers its interest expense a whopping 65.1 times over. So we're pretty relaxed about its super-conservative use of debt. The good news is that BIOREM has increased its EBIT by 3.0% over twelve months, which should ease any concerns about debt repayment. The balance sheet is clearly the area to focus on when you are analysing debt. But it is BIOREM's earnings that will influence how the balance sheet holds up in the future. So when considering debt, it's definitely worth looking at the earnings trend. Click here for an interactive snapshot.

Finally, a company can only pay off debt with cold hard cash, not accounting profits. So it's worth checking how much of that EBIT is backed by free cash flow. Happily for any shareholders, BIOREM actually produced more free cash flow than EBIT over the last two years. That sort of strong cash conversion gets us as excited as the crowd when the beat drops at a Daft Punk concert.

Our View

The good news is that BIOREM's demonstrated ability to cover its interest expense with its EBIT delights us like a fluffy puppy does a toddler. And the good news does not stop there, as its conversion of EBIT to free cash flow also supports that impression! Zooming out, BIOREM seems to use debt quite reasonably; and that gets the nod from us. While debt does bring risk, when used wisely it can also bring a higher return on equity. There's no doubt that we learn most about debt from the balance sheet. However, not all investment risk resides within the balance sheet - far from it. For instance, we've identified 4 warning signs for BIOREM (2 can't be ignored) you should be aware of.

Of course, if you're the type of investor who prefers buying stocks without the burden of debt, then don't hesitate to discover our exclusive list of net cash growth stocks, today.

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

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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.