MCH Group (VTX:MCHN) Has Debt But No Earnings; Should You Worry?

September 07, 2022
  •  Updated
November 21, 2022
SWX:MCHN
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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.' 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 MCH Group AG (VTX:MCHN) does use debt in its business. But is this debt a concern to shareholders?

What Risk Does Debt Bring?

Debt is a tool to help businesses grow, but if a business is incapable of paying off its lenders, then it exists at their mercy. If things get really bad, the lenders can take control of the business. However, a more usual (but still expensive) situation is where a company must dilute shareholders at a cheap share price simply to get debt under control. 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.

Check out our latest analysis for MCH Group

How Much Debt Does MCH Group Carry?

As you can see below, MCH Group had CHF245.6m of debt at June 2022, down from CHF334.2m a year prior. However, it does have CHF100.5m in cash offsetting this, leading to net debt of about CHF145.1m.

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SWX:MCHN Debt to Equity History September 7th 2022

How Healthy Is MCH Group's Balance Sheet?

The latest balance sheet data shows that MCH Group had liabilities of CHF145.6m due within a year, and liabilities of CHF244.7m falling due after that. On the other hand, it had cash of CHF100.5m and CHF59.5m worth of receivables due within a year. So its liabilities total CHF230.3m more than the combination of its cash and short-term receivables.

This deficit casts a shadow over the CHF76.8m company, like a colossus towering over mere mortals. So we'd watch its balance sheet closely, without a doubt. At the end of the day, MCH Group would probably need a major re-capitalization if its creditors were to demand repayment. There's no doubt that we learn most about debt from the balance sheet. But it is future earnings, more than anything, that will determine MCH 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.

Over 12 months, MCH Group reported revenue of CHF335m, which is a gain of 306%, although it did not report any earnings before interest and tax. When it comes to revenue growth, that's like nailing the game winning 3-pointer!

Caveat Emptor

Despite the top line growth, MCH Group still had an earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) loss over the last year. Its EBIT loss was a whopping CHF21m. Combining this information with the significant liabilities we already touched on makes us very hesitant about this stock, to say the least. That said, it is possible that the company will turn its fortunes around. Nevertheless, we would not bet on it given that it lost CHF448k in just last twelve months, and it doesn't have much by way of liquid assets. So while it's not wise to assume the company will fail, we do think it's risky. 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. For example, we've discovered 1 warning sign for MCH Group that you should be aware of before investing here.

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.

Valuation is complex, but we're helping make it simple.

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