Does Realia Properties (CVE:RLP) Have A Healthy Balance Sheet?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
August 23, 2021
TSXV:RLP
Source: Shutterstock

Legendary fund manager Li Lu (who Charlie Munger backed) once said, '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. We can see that Realia Properties Inc. (CVE:RLP) does use debt in its business. But the more important question is: how much risk is that debt creating?

Why Does Debt Bring Risk?

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. In the worst case scenario, a company can go bankrupt if it cannot pay its creditors. 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. When we examine debt levels, we first consider both cash and debt levels, together.

See our latest analysis for Realia Properties

What Is Realia Properties's Net Debt?

The image below, which you can click on for greater detail, shows that Realia Properties had debt of CA$33.5m at the end of March 2021, a reduction from CA$36.2m over a year. However, it also had CA$690.8k in cash, and so its net debt is CA$32.8m.

debt-equity-history-analysis
TSXV:RLP Debt to Equity History August 23rd 2021

How Healthy Is Realia Properties' Balance Sheet?

Zooming in on the latest balance sheet data, we can see that Realia Properties had liabilities of CA$23.2m due within 12 months and liabilities of CA$11.2m due beyond that. On the other hand, it had cash of CA$690.8k and CA$513.9k worth of receivables due within a year. So its liabilities total CA$33.1m more than the combination of its cash and short-term receivables.

The deficiency here weighs heavily on the CA$3.83m company itself, as if a child were struggling under the weight of an enormous back-pack full of books, his sports gear, and a trumpet. So we definitely think shareholders need to watch this one closely. After all, Realia Properties would likely require a major re-capitalisation if it had to pay its creditors today.

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). Thus we consider debt relative to earnings both with and without depreciation and amortization expenses.

Realia Properties shareholders face the double whammy of a high net debt to EBITDA ratio (9.1), and fairly weak interest coverage, since EBIT is just 0.90 times the interest expense. The debt burden here is substantial. The silver lining is that Realia Properties grew its EBIT by 103% last year, which nourishing like the idealism of youth. If it can keep walking that path it will be in a position to shed its debt with relative ease. The balance sheet is clearly the area to focus on when you are analysing debt. But it is Realia Properties's earnings that will influence how the balance sheet holds up in the future. So if you're keen to discover more about its earnings, it might be worth checking out this graph of its long term earnings trend.

Finally, while the tax-man may adore accounting profits, lenders only accept cold hard cash. So we always check how much of that EBIT is translated into free cash flow. Over the last three years, Realia Properties actually produced more free cash flow than EBIT. That sort of strong cash generation warms our hearts like a puppy in a bumblebee suit.

Our View

On the face of it, Realia Properties's interest cover left us tentative about the stock, and its level of total liabilities was no more enticing than the one empty restaurant on the busiest night of the year. But on the bright side, its conversion of EBIT to free cash flow is a good sign, and makes us more optimistic. Once we consider all the factors above, together, it seems to us that Realia Properties'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. 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 instance, we've identified 3 warning signs for Realia Properties (2 are potentially serious) 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.
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