Is Hudbay Minerals (TSE:HBM) Using Too Much Debt?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
November 13, 2021
TSX:HBM
Source: Shutterstock

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.' 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 Hudbay Minerals Inc. (TSE:HBM) makes use of debt. But the more important question is: how much risk is that debt creating?

What Risk Does Debt Bring?

Debt assists a business until the business has trouble paying it off, either with new capital or with free 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. Having said that, the most common situation is where a company manages its debt reasonably well - and to its own advantage. The first step when considering a company's debt levels is to consider its cash and debt together.

View our latest analysis for Hudbay Minerals

What Is Hudbay Minerals's Net Debt?

As you can see below, Hudbay Minerals had US$1.18b of debt, at September 2021, which is about the same as the year before. You can click the chart for greater detail. On the flip side, it has US$297.5m in cash leading to net debt of about US$885.2m.

debt-equity-history-analysis
TSX:HBM Debt to Equity History November 14th 2021

A Look At Hudbay Minerals' Liabilities

The latest balance sheet data shows that Hudbay Minerals had liabilities of US$423.7m due within a year, and liabilities of US$2.59b falling due after that. Offsetting these obligations, it had cash of US$297.5m as well as receivables valued at US$125.6m due within 12 months. So its liabilities total US$2.59b more than the combination of its cash and short-term receivables.

When you consider that this deficiency exceeds the company's US$1.92b market capitalization, you might well be inclined to review the balance sheet intently. In the scenario where the company had to clean up its balance sheet quickly, it seems likely shareholders would suffer extensive dilution. The balance sheet is clearly the area to focus on when you are analysing debt. But ultimately the future profitability of the business will decide if Hudbay Minerals 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.

In the last year Hudbay Minerals wasn't profitable at an EBIT level, but managed to grow its revenue by 28%, to US$1.4b. With any luck the company will be able to grow its way to profitability.

Caveat Emptor

Even though Hudbay Minerals managed to grow its top line quite deftly, the cold hard truth is that it is losing money on the EBIT line. To be specific the EBIT loss came in at US$26m. Considering that alongside the liabilities mentioned above make us nervous about the company. It would need to improve its operations quickly for us to be interested in it. For example, we would not want to see a repeat of last year's loss of US$226m. And until that time we think this is a risky stock. There's no doubt that we learn most about debt from the balance sheet. However, not all investment risk resides within the balance sheet - far from it. Be aware that Hudbay Minerals is showing 1 warning sign in our investment analysis , you should know about...

Of course, if you're the type of investor who prefers buying stocks without the burden of debt, then don't hesitate to discover our exclusive list of net cash growth stocks, today.

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