- Food and Staples Retail
Rocky Mountain Liquor (CVE:RUM) Has A Somewhat Strained Balance Sheet
David Iben put it well when he said, 'Volatility is not a risk we care about. What we care about is avoiding the permanent loss of capital.' So it might be obvious that you need to consider debt, when you think about how risky any given stock is, because too much debt can sink a company. We note that Rocky Mountain Liquor Inc. (CVE:RUM) does have debt on its balance sheet. But should shareholders be worried about its use of debt?
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. Part and parcel of capitalism is the process of 'creative destruction' where failed businesses are mercilessly liquidated by their bankers. 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, plenty of companies use debt to fund growth, without any negative consequences. The first step when considering a company's debt levels is to consider its cash and debt together.
See our latest analysis for Rocky Mountain Liquor
What Is Rocky Mountain Liquor's Net Debt?
As you can see below, Rocky Mountain Liquor had CA$3.84m of debt at September 2022, down from CA$4.41m a year prior. On the flip side, it has CA$123.0k in cash leading to net debt of about CA$3.72m.
A Look At Rocky Mountain Liquor's Liabilities
Zooming in on the latest balance sheet data, we can see that Rocky Mountain Liquor had liabilities of CA$4.92m due within 12 months and liabilities of CA$11.8m due beyond that. Offsetting these obligations, it had cash of CA$123.0k as well as receivables valued at CA$333.5k due within 12 months. So its liabilities total CA$16.3m more than the combination of its cash and short-term receivables.
The deficiency here weighs heavily on the CA$6.94m company itself, as if a child were struggling under the weight of an enormous back-pack full of books, his sports gear, and a trumpet. So we definitely think shareholders need to watch this one closely. After all, Rocky Mountain Liquor would likely require a major re-capitalisation if it had to pay its creditors today.
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). Thus we consider debt relative to earnings both with and without depreciation and amortization expenses.
Even though Rocky Mountain Liquor's debt is only 2.2, its interest cover is really very low at 1.5. This does suggest the company is paying fairly high interest rates. In any case, it's safe to say the company has meaningful debt. Shareholders should be aware that Rocky Mountain Liquor's EBIT was down 31% last year. If that decline continues then paying off debt will be harder than selling foie gras at a vegan convention. When analysing debt levels, the balance sheet is the obvious place to start. But it is Rocky Mountain Liquor'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 business needs free cash flow to pay off debt; accounting profits just don't cut it. So the logical step is to look at the proportion of that EBIT that is matched by actual free cash flow. Happily for any shareholders, Rocky Mountain Liquor 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.
To be frank both Rocky Mountain Liquor's EBIT growth rate and its track record of staying on top of its total liabilities make us rather uncomfortable with its debt levels. But on the bright side, its conversion of EBIT to free cash flow is a good sign, and makes us more optimistic. Overall, it seems to us that Rocky Mountain Liquor's balance sheet is really quite a risk to the business. For this reason we're pretty cautious about the stock, and we think shareholders should keep a close eye on its liquidity. When analysing debt levels, the balance sheet is the obvious place to start. But ultimately, every company can contain risks that exist outside of the balance sheet. For example, we've discovered 4 warning signs for Rocky Mountain Liquor (3 are concerning!) that you should be aware of before investing here.
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 Rocky Mountain Liquor 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.
Rocky Mountain Liquor
Rocky Mountain Liquor Inc., through its subsidiary, Andersons Liquor Inc., owns and operates liquor stores in Alberta, Canada.
Good value with mediocre balance sheet.