Stock Analysis

Is D-BOX Technologies (TSE:DBO) A Risky Investment?

TSX:DBO
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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.' So it seems the smart money knows that debt - which is usually involved in bankruptcies - is a very important factor, when you assess how risky a company is. We can see that D-BOX Technologies Inc. (TSE:DBO) does use debt in its business. But should shareholders be worried about its use of debt?

What Risk Does Debt Bring?

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. In the worst case scenario, a company can go bankrupt if it cannot pay its creditors. 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. When we examine debt levels, we first consider both cash and debt levels, together.

See our latest analysis for D-BOX Technologies

How Much Debt Does D-BOX Technologies Carry?

You can click the graphic below for the historical numbers, but it shows that D-BOX Technologies had CA$4.58m of debt in March 2022, down from CA$4.95m, one year before. However, because it has a cash reserve of CA$3.94m, its net debt is less, at about CA$646.0k.

debt-equity-history-analysis
TSX:DBO Debt to Equity History June 16th 2022

A Look At D-BOX Technologies' Liabilities

According to the last reported balance sheet, D-BOX Technologies had liabilities of CA$7.18m due within 12 months, and liabilities of CA$3.33m due beyond 12 months. On the other hand, it had cash of CA$3.94m and CA$6.54m worth of receivables due within a year. So its total liabilities are just about perfectly matched by its shorter-term, liquid assets.

Having regard to D-BOX Technologies' size, it seems that its liquid assets are well balanced with its total liabilities. So it's very unlikely that the CA$20.9m company is short on cash, but still worth keeping an eye on the balance sheet. The balance sheet is clearly the area to focus on when you are analysing debt. But you can't view debt in total isolation; since D-BOX Technologies will need earnings to service that debt. So when considering debt, it's definitely worth looking at the earnings trend. Click here for an interactive snapshot.

In the last year D-BOX Technologies wasn't profitable at an EBIT level, but managed to grow its revenue by 92%, to CA$21m. Shareholders probably have their fingers crossed that it can grow its way to profits.

Caveat Emptor

While we can certainly appreciate D-BOX Technologies's revenue growth, its earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) loss is not ideal. To be specific the EBIT loss came in at CA$1.2m. Considering that alongside the liabilities mentioned above does not give us much confidence that company should be using so much debt. Quite frankly we think the balance sheet is far from match-fit, although it could be improved with time. Another cause for caution is that is bled CA$4.7m in negative free cash flow over the last twelve months. So suffice it to say we consider the stock very risky. There's no doubt that we learn most about debt from the balance sheet. But ultimately, every company can contain risks that exist outside of the balance sheet. For example D-BOX Technologies has 4 warning signs (and 2 which can't be ignored) we think you should know about.

When all is said and done, sometimes its easier to focus on companies that don't even need debt. Readers can access a list of growth stocks with zero net debt 100% free, right now.

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.

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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.