Stock Analysis

Would D-BOX Technologies (TSE:DBO) Be Better Off With Less Debt?

TSX:DBO
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Howard Marks put it nicely when he said that, rather than worrying about share price volatility, 'The possibility of permanent loss is the risk I worry about... and every practical investor I know worries about.' 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 D-BOX Technologies Inc. (TSE:DBO) makes use of debt. But is this debt a concern to shareholders?

What Risk Does Debt Bring?

Generally speaking, debt only becomes a real problem when a company can't easily pay it off, either by raising capital or with its own cash flow. 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. Of course, debt can be an important tool in businesses, particularly capital heavy businesses. The first step when considering a company's debt levels is to consider its cash and debt together.

View our latest analysis for D-BOX Technologies

What Is D-BOX Technologies's Net Debt?

You can click the graphic below for the historical numbers, but it shows that as of March 2023 D-BOX Technologies had CA$5.09m of debt, an increase on CA$4.58m, over one year. However, it does have CA$3.12m in cash offsetting this, leading to net debt of about CA$1.98m.

debt-equity-history-analysis
TSX:DBO Debt to Equity History August 2nd 2023

How Healthy Is D-BOX Technologies' Balance Sheet?

We can see from the most recent balance sheet that D-BOX Technologies had liabilities of CA$13.3m falling due within a year, and liabilities of CA$2.49m due beyond that. Offsetting this, it had CA$3.12m in cash and CA$8.17m in receivables that were due within 12 months. So its liabilities outweigh the sum of its cash and (near-term) receivables by CA$4.54m.

D-BOX Technologies has a market capitalization of CA$22.0m, so it could very likely raise cash to ameliorate 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. There's no doubt that we learn most about debt from the balance sheet. But it is D-BOX Technologies'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.

In the last year D-BOX Technologies wasn't profitable at an EBIT level, but managed to grow its revenue by 60%, to CA$34m. With any luck the company will be able to grow its way to profitability.

Caveat Emptor

Even though D-BOX Technologies managed to grow its top line quite deftly, the cold hard truth is that it is losing money on the EBIT line. Indeed, it lost CA$672k at the EBIT level. Considering that alongside the liabilities mentioned above does not give us much confidence that company should be using so much debt. So we think its balance sheet is a little strained, though not beyond repair. Another cause for caution is that is bled CA$1.1m in negative free cash flow over the last twelve months. So in short it's a really risky stock. The balance sheet is clearly the area to focus on when you are analysing debt. However, not all investment risk resides within the balance sheet - far from it. For example D-BOX Technologies has 2 warning signs (and 1 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.