Stock Analysis

Does D-BOX Technologies (TSE:DBO) Have A Healthy Balance Sheet?

TSX:DBO
Source: Shutterstock

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. Importantly, D-BOX Technologies Inc. (TSE:DBO) does carry debt. But the real question is whether this debt is making the company risky.

When Is Debt A Problem?

Debt is a tool to help businesses grow, but if a business is incapable of paying off its lenders, then it exists at their mercy. 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. Having said that, the most common situation is where a company manages its debt reasonably well - and to its own advantage. When we examine debt levels, we first consider both cash and debt levels, together.

Check out our latest analysis for D-BOX Technologies

What Is D-BOX Technologies's Debt?

The image below, which you can click on for greater detail, shows that D-BOX Technologies had debt of CA$2.90m at the end of December 2023, a reduction from CA$4.10m over a year. However, it also had CA$2.61m in cash, and so its net debt is CA$285.0k.

debt-equity-history-analysis
TSX:DBO Debt to Equity History June 1st 2024

A Look At D-BOX Technologies' Liabilities

According to the last reported balance sheet, D-BOX Technologies had liabilities of CA$8.27m due within 12 months, and liabilities of CA$2.16m due beyond 12 months. On the other hand, it had cash of CA$2.61m and CA$6.21m worth of receivables due within a year. So its liabilities outweigh the sum of its cash and (near-term) receivables by CA$1.61m.

Of course, D-BOX Technologies has a market capitalization of CA$17.6m, so these liabilities are probably manageable. But there are sufficient liabilities that we would certainly recommend shareholders continue to monitor the balance sheet, going forward.

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). The advantage of this approach is that we take into account both the absolute quantum of debt (with net debt to EBITDA) and the actual interest expenses associated with that debt (with its interest cover ratio).

D-BOX Technologies has a net debt to EBITDA ratio of 0.094, suggesting a very conservative balance sheet. But EBIT was only 1.7 times the interest expense last year, which shows that the debt has negatively impacted the business, by constraining its options (and restricting its free cash flow). We also note that D-BOX Technologies improved its EBIT from a last year's loss to a positive CA$1.0m. When analysing debt levels, the balance sheet is the obvious place to start. But it is D-BOX Technologies's earnings that will influence how the balance sheet holds up in the future. 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.

Finally, a company can only pay off debt with cold hard cash, not accounting profits. So it's worth checking how much of the earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) is backed by free cash flow. Over the most recent year, D-BOX Technologies recorded free cash flow worth 65% of its EBIT, which is around normal, given free cash flow excludes interest and tax. This free cash flow puts the company in a good position to pay down debt, when appropriate.

Our View

The good news is that D-BOX Technologies's demonstrated ability handle its debt, based on its EBITDA, delights us like a fluffy puppy does a toddler. But the stark truth is that we are concerned by its interest cover. All these things considered, it appears that D-BOX Technologies can comfortably handle its current debt levels. On the plus side, this leverage can boost shareholder returns, but the potential downside is more risk of loss, so it's worth monitoring the balance sheet. When analysing debt levels, the balance sheet is the obvious place to start. However, not all investment risk resides within the balance sheet - far from it. For example - D-BOX Technologies has 1 warning sign we think you should be aware of.

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.

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

Find out whether D-BOX Technologies 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.

View the Free Analysis

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

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.