Stock Analysis

Does Thunderbird Entertainment Group (CVE:TBRD) Have A Healthy Balance Sheet?

TSXV:TBRD
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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.' 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. We can see that Thunderbird Entertainment Group Inc. (CVE:TBRD) does use debt in its business. But the real question is whether this debt is making the company risky.

Why Does Debt Bring Risk?

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. While that is not too common, we often do see indebted companies permanently diluting shareholders because lenders force them to raise capital at a distressed price. 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.

Check out our latest analysis for Thunderbird Entertainment Group

What Is Thunderbird Entertainment Group's Debt?

The image below, which you can click on for greater detail, shows that Thunderbird Entertainment Group had debt of CA$37.5m at the end of December 2020, a reduction from CA$51.2m over a year. However, it also had CA$21.4m in cash, and so its net debt is CA$16.0m.

debt-equity-history-analysis
TSXV:TBRD Debt to Equity History March 29th 2021

A Look At Thunderbird Entertainment Group's Liabilities

Zooming in on the latest balance sheet data, we can see that Thunderbird Entertainment Group had liabilities of CA$77.8m due within 12 months and liabilities of CA$27.4m due beyond that. Offsetting this, it had CA$21.4m in cash and CA$60.1m in receivables that were due within 12 months. So it has liabilities totalling CA$23.6m more than its cash and near-term receivables, combined.

Since publicly traded Thunderbird Entertainment Group shares are worth a total of CA$206.7m, it seems unlikely that this level of liabilities would be a major threat. Having said that, it's clear that we should continue to monitor its balance sheet, lest it change for the worse.

In order to size up a company's debt relative to its earnings, we calculate its net debt divided by its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) and its earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) divided by its interest expense (its interest cover). This way, we consider both the absolute quantum of the debt, as well as the interest rates paid on it.

Thunderbird Entertainment Group has net debt of just 0.52 times EBITDA, indicating that it is certainly not a reckless borrower. And this view is supported by the solid interest coverage, with EBIT coming in at 7.4 times the interest expense over the last year. On top of that, Thunderbird Entertainment Group grew its EBIT by 52% over the last twelve months, and that growth will make it easier to handle its debt. When analysing debt levels, the balance sheet is the obvious place to start. But ultimately the future profitability of the business will decide if Thunderbird Entertainment Group 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.

Finally, a business needs free cash flow to pay off debt; accounting profits just don't cut it. So it's worth checking how much of that EBIT is backed by free cash flow. Looking at the most recent three years, Thunderbird Entertainment Group recorded free cash flow of 28% of its EBIT, which is weaker than we'd expect. That weak cash conversion makes it more difficult to handle indebtedness.

Our View

Happily, Thunderbird Entertainment Group's impressive EBIT growth rate implies it has the upper hand on its debt. But, on a more sombre note, we are a little concerned by its conversion of EBIT to free cash flow. When we consider the range of factors above, it looks like Thunderbird Entertainment Group is pretty sensible with its use of debt. While that brings some risk, it can also enhance returns for shareholders. 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. These risks can be hard to spot. Every company has them, and we've spotted 3 warning signs for Thunderbird Entertainment Group you should know about.

If, after all that, you're more interested in a fast growing company with a rock-solid balance sheet, then check out our list of net cash growth stocks without delay.

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