- Metals and Mining
Is Soma Gold (CVE:SOMA) A Risky Investment?
Warren Buffett famously said, 'Volatility is far from synonymous with risk.' 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. Importantly, Soma Gold Corp. (CVE:SOMA) does carry debt. But the more important question is: how much risk is that debt creating?
When Is Debt A Problem?
Debt assists a business until the business has trouble paying it off, either with new capital or with free cash flow. If things get really bad, the lenders can take control of the business. However, a more common (but still painful) scenario is that it has to raise new equity capital at a low price, thus permanently diluting shareholders. Of course, debt can be an important tool in businesses, particularly capital heavy businesses. When we examine debt levels, we first consider both cash and debt levels, together.
See our latest analysis for Soma Gold
How Much Debt Does Soma Gold Carry?
You can click the graphic below for the historical numbers, but it shows that as of September 2022 Soma Gold had CA$21.4m of debt, an increase on CA$18.0m, over one year. On the flip side, it has CA$3.30m in cash leading to net debt of about CA$18.1m.
How Healthy Is Soma Gold's Balance Sheet?
According to the last reported balance sheet, Soma Gold had liabilities of CA$16.3m due within 12 months, and liabilities of CA$27.1m due beyond 12 months. On the other hand, it had cash of CA$3.30m and CA$7.22m worth of receivables due within a year. So its liabilities total CA$32.9m more than the combination of its cash and short-term receivables.
This deficit is considerable relative to its market capitalization of CA$33.2m, so it does suggest shareholders should keep an eye on Soma Gold's use of debt. This suggests shareholders would be heavily diluted if the company needed to shore up its balance sheet in a hurry.
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). This way, we consider both the absolute quantum of the debt, as well as the interest rates paid on it.
While Soma Gold's low debt to EBITDA ratio of 1.1 suggests only modest use of debt, the fact that EBIT only covered the interest expense by 2.5 times last year does give us pause. So we'd recommend keeping a close eye on the impact financing costs are having on the business. It is well worth noting that Soma Gold's EBIT shot up like bamboo after rain, gaining 63% in the last twelve months. That'll make it easier to manage its debt. 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 Soma Gold 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.
Finally, while the tax-man may adore accounting profits, lenders only accept cold hard cash. So the logical step is to look at the proportion of that EBIT that is matched by actual free cash flow. Over the last two years, Soma Gold saw substantial negative free cash flow, in total. While that may be a result of expenditure for growth, it does make the debt far more risky.
We'd go so far as to say Soma Gold's conversion of EBIT to free cash flow was disappointing. But on the bright side, its EBIT growth rate is a good sign, and makes us more optimistic. Once we consider all the factors above, together, it seems to us that Soma Gold's debt is making it a bit risky. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but we'd generally feel more comfortable with less leverage. 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 instance, we've identified 5 warning signs for Soma Gold (2 don't sit too well with us) you should be aware of.
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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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.
Soma Gold Corp., a natural resource company, engages in the acquisition, exploration, and development of mineral properties in South America.
Imperfect balance sheet with poor track record.