Warren Buffett famously said, ‘Volatility is far from synonymous with risk.’ 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 note that De Raj Group AG (ETR:DRJ) does have debt on its balance sheet. But the real question is whether this debt is making the company risky.
When Is Debt A Problem?
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. Ultimately, if the company can’t fulfill its legal obligations to repay debt, shareholders could walk away with nothing. 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. 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.
What Is De Raj Group’s Debt?
You can click the graphic below for the historical numbers, but it shows that De Raj Group had €18.9m of debt in June 2019, down from €21.6m, one year before. And it doesn’t have much cash, so its net debt is about the same.
How Healthy Is De Raj Group’s Balance Sheet?
The latest balance sheet data shows that De Raj Group had liabilities of €11.3m due within a year, and liabilities of €13.2m falling due after that. Offsetting this, it had €219.2k in cash and €6.21m in receivables that were due within 12 months. So its liabilities total €18.0m more than the combination of its cash and short-term receivables.
Given De Raj Group has a market capitalization of €93.1m, it’s hard to believe these liabilities pose much threat. Having said that, it’s clear that we should continue to monitor its balance sheet, lest it change for the worse. There’s no doubt that we learn most about debt from the balance sheet. But you can’t view debt in total isolation; since De Raj Group will need earnings to service that debt. 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.
In the last year De Raj Group had negative earnings before interest and tax, and actually shrunk its revenue by 26%, to €9.2m. To be frank that doesn’t bode well.
Not only did De Raj Group’s revenue slip over the last twelve months, but it also produced negative earnings before interest and tax (EBIT). Indeed, it lost €568k at the EBIT level. When we look at that and recall the liabilities on its balance sheet, relative to cash, it seems unwise to us for the company to have any debt. So we think its balance sheet is a little strained, though not beyond repair. For example, we would not want to see a repeat of last year’s loss of €1.5m. So we do think this stock is quite risky. When we look at a riskier company, we like to check how their profits (or losses) are trending over time. Today, we’re providing readers this interactive graph showing how De Raj Group’s profit, revenue, and operating cashflow have changed over the last few years.
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.
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