- Consumer Durables
Here's Why Lexibook - Linguistic Electronic System Société anonyme (EPA:ALLEX) Has A Meaningful Debt Burden
Some say volatility, rather than debt, is the best way to think about risk as an investor, but Warren Buffett famously said that '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 Lexibook - Linguistic Electronic System Société anonyme (EPA:ALLEX) does have debt on its balance sheet. But should shareholders be worried about its use of debt?
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. 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. Of course, the upside of debt is that it often represents cheap capital, especially when it replaces dilution in a company with the ability to reinvest at high rates of return. The first step when considering a company's debt levels is to consider its cash and debt together.
Check out our latest analysis for Lexibook - Linguistic Electronic System Société anonyme
What Is Lexibook - Linguistic Electronic System Société anonyme's Debt?
As you can see below, at the end of September 2022, Lexibook - Linguistic Electronic System Société anonyme had €19.1m of debt, up from €12.1m a year ago. Click the image for more detail. However, it does have €2.13m in cash offsetting this, leading to net debt of about €16.9m.
How Strong Is Lexibook - Linguistic Electronic System Société anonyme's Balance Sheet?
According to the last reported balance sheet, Lexibook - Linguistic Electronic System Société anonyme had liabilities of €30.0m due within 12 months, and liabilities of €6.84m due beyond 12 months. Offsetting this, it had €2.13m in cash and €11.4m in receivables that were due within 12 months. So its liabilities outweigh the sum of its cash and (near-term) receivables by €23.3m.
When you consider that this deficiency exceeds the company's €16.9m market capitalization, you might well be inclined to review the balance sheet intently. In the scenario where the company had to clean up its balance sheet quickly, it seems likely shareholders would suffer extensive dilution.
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.
Lexibook - Linguistic Electronic System Société anonyme has a debt to EBITDA ratio of 3.1, which signals significant debt, but is still pretty reasonable for most types of business. But its EBIT was about 11.7 times its interest expense, implying the company isn't really paying a high cost to maintain that level of debt. Even were the low cost to prove unsustainable, that is a good sign. We note that Lexibook - Linguistic Electronic System Société anonyme grew its EBIT by 29% in the last year, and that should make it easier to pay down debt, going forward. There's no doubt that we learn most about debt from the balance sheet. But you can't view debt in total isolation; since Lexibook - Linguistic Electronic System Société anonyme 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.
Finally, a business needs free cash flow to pay off debt; accounting profits just don't cut it. So we always check how much of that EBIT is translated into free cash flow. During the last three years, Lexibook - Linguistic Electronic System Société anonyme burned a lot of cash. While investors are no doubt expecting a reversal of that situation in due course, it clearly does mean its use of debt is more risky.
To be frank both Lexibook - Linguistic Electronic System Société anonyme's level of total liabilities and its track record of converting EBIT to free cash flow make us rather uncomfortable with its debt levels. But on the bright side, its EBIT growth rate is a good sign, and makes us more optimistic. Looking at the balance sheet and taking into account all these factors, we do believe that debt is making Lexibook - Linguistic Electronic System Société anonyme stock 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. However, not all investment risk resides within the balance sheet - far from it. We've identified 4 warning signs with Lexibook - Linguistic Electronic System Société anonyme (at least 2 which are concerning) , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.
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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Find out whether Lexibook - Linguistic Electronic System Société anonyme 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.View the Free Analysis
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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.
Lexibook - Linguistic Electronic System Société anonyme
Lexibook - Linguistic Electronic System Société anonyme designs and markets electronic leisure products for the children in France.
Adequate balance sheet and slightly overvalued.