Stock Analysis

Thunderbird Entertainment Group (CVE:TBRD) Seems To Use Debt Rather Sparingly

TSXV:TBRD
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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.' 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. As with many other companies Thunderbird Entertainment Group Inc. (CVE:TBRD) makes use of 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. 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, 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 Thunderbird Entertainment Group

What Is Thunderbird Entertainment Group's Net Debt?

As you can see below, Thunderbird Entertainment Group had CA$38.4m of debt at September 2021, down from CA$42.1m a year prior. However, it does have CA$28.3m in cash offsetting this, leading to net debt of about CA$10.2m.

debt-equity-history-analysis
TSXV:TBRD Debt to Equity History December 11th 2021

A Look At Thunderbird Entertainment Group's Liabilities

According to the last reported balance sheet, Thunderbird Entertainment Group had liabilities of CA$76.3m due within 12 months, and liabilities of CA$27.2m due beyond 12 months. On the other hand, it had cash of CA$28.3m and CA$72.1m worth of receivables due within a year. So its liabilities outweigh the sum of its cash and (near-term) receivables by CA$3.09m.

Having regard to Thunderbird Entertainment Group's size, it seems that its liquid assets are well balanced with its total liabilities. So it's very unlikely that the CA$217.3m company is short on cash, but still worth keeping an eye on the balance sheet.

We use two main ratios to inform us about debt levels relative to earnings. The first is net debt divided by earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA), while the second is how many times its earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) covers its interest expense (or its interest cover, for short). Thus we consider debt relative to earnings both with and without depreciation and amortization expenses.

Thunderbird Entertainment Group has net debt of just 0.28 times EBITDA, indicating that it is certainly not a reckless borrower. And it boasts interest cover of 7.1 times, which is more than adequate. On top of that, Thunderbird Entertainment Group grew its EBIT by 60% over the last twelve months, and that growth will make it easier to handle its debt. The balance sheet is clearly the area to focus on when you are analysing debt. But it is future earnings, more than anything, that will determine Thunderbird Entertainment Group's ability to maintain a healthy balance sheet going forward. So if you're focused on the future you can check out this free report showing analyst profit forecasts.

Finally, a company can only pay off debt with cold hard cash, not accounting profits. So we clearly need to look at whether that EBIT is leading to corresponding free cash flow. Over the last three years, Thunderbird Entertainment Group actually produced more free cash flow than EBIT. That sort of strong cash conversion gets us as excited as the crowd when the beat drops at a Daft Punk concert.

Our View

Happily, Thunderbird Entertainment Group's impressive conversion of EBIT to free cash flow implies it has the upper hand on its debt. And that's just the beginning of the good news since its EBIT growth rate is also very heartening. Considering this range of factors, it seems to us that Thunderbird Entertainment Group is quite prudent with its debt, and the risks seem well managed. So the balance sheet looks pretty healthy, to us. There's no doubt that we learn most about debt from the balance sheet. But ultimately, every company can contain risks that exist outside of the balance sheet. For example, we've discovered 1 warning sign for Thunderbird Entertainment Group that you should be aware of before investing here.

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 Thunderbird Entertainment Group 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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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.