Stock Analysis

Endeavour Mining (TSE:EDV) Has A Pretty Healthy Balance Sheet

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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.' 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. As with many other companies Endeavour Mining plc (TSE:EDV) makes use of debt. But the real question is whether this debt is making the company risky.

When Is Debt A Problem?

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. Part and parcel of capitalism is the process of 'creative destruction' where failed businesses are mercilessly liquidated by their bankers. 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, the upside of debt is that it often represents cheap capital, especially when it replaces dilution in a company with the ability to reinvest at high rates of return. When we think about a company's use of debt, we first look at cash and debt together.

Check out the opportunities and risks within the CA Metals and Mining industry.

What Is Endeavour Mining's Debt?

You can click the graphic below for the historical numbers, but it shows that Endeavour Mining had US$885.1m of debt in June 2022, down from US$929.8m, one year before. However, its balance sheet shows it holds US$1.10b in cash, so it actually has US$211.7m net cash.

TSX:EDV Debt to Equity History October 25th 2022

A Look At Endeavour Mining's Liabilities

We can see from the most recent balance sheet that Endeavour Mining had liabilities of US$1.02b falling due within a year, and liabilities of US$1.41b due beyond that. Offsetting these obligations, it had cash of US$1.10b as well as receivables valued at US$104.3m due within 12 months. So it has liabilities totalling US$1.23b more than its cash and near-term receivables, combined.

Endeavour Mining has a market capitalization of US$4.32b, 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. Despite its noteworthy liabilities, Endeavour Mining boasts net cash, so it's fair to say it does not have a heavy debt load!

On the other hand, Endeavour Mining's EBIT dived 16%, over the last year. We think hat kind of performance, if repeated frequently, could well lead to difficulties for the stock. There's no doubt that we learn most about debt from the balance sheet. But ultimately the future profitability of the business will decide if Endeavour Mining can strengthen its balance sheet over time. So if you're focused on the future you can check out this free report showing analyst profit forecasts.

But our final consideration is also important, because a company cannot pay debt with paper profits; it needs cold hard cash. Endeavour Mining may have net cash on the balance sheet, but it is still interesting to look at how well the business converts its earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) to free cash flow, because that will influence both its need for, and its capacity to manage debt. Happily for any shareholders, Endeavour Mining actually produced more free cash flow than EBIT over the last three years. That sort of strong cash conversion gets us as excited as the crowd when the beat drops at a Daft Punk concert.

Summing Up

While Endeavour Mining does have more liabilities than liquid assets, it also has net cash of US$211.7m. And it impressed us with free cash flow of US$732m, being 132% of its EBIT. So we are not troubled with Endeavour Mining's debt use. 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. We've identified 2 warning signs with Endeavour Mining , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

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 Endeavour Mining 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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