Stock Analysis

Is PCAS (EPA:PCA) Weighed On By Its Debt Load?

ENXTPA:PCA
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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. Importantly, PCAS SA (EPA:PCA) does carry debt. But is this debt a concern to shareholders?

When Is Debt Dangerous?

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. 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. By replacing dilution, though, debt can be an extremely good tool for businesses that need capital to invest in growth at high rates of return. When we examine debt levels, we first consider both cash and debt levels, together.

View our latest analysis for PCAS

How Much Debt Does PCAS Carry?

As you can see below, PCAS had €61.4m of debt, at December 2020, which is about the same as the year before. You can click the chart for greater detail. Net debt is about the same, since the it doesn't have much cash.

debt-equity-history-analysis
ENXTPA:PCA Debt to Equity History May 24th 2021

How Healthy Is PCAS' Balance Sheet?

We can see from the most recent balance sheet that PCAS had liabilities of €144.0m falling due within a year, and liabilities of €75.9m due beyond that. Offsetting these obligations, it had cash of €829.0k as well as receivables valued at €50.6m due within 12 months. So it has liabilities totalling €168.5m more than its cash and near-term receivables, combined.

This deficit is considerable relative to its market capitalization of €201.3m, so it does suggest shareholders should keep an eye on PCAS' use of debt. This suggests shareholders would be heavily diluted if the company needed to shore up its balance sheet in a hurry. There's no doubt that we learn most about debt from the balance sheet. But it is PCAS'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.

Over 12 months, PCAS made a loss at the EBIT level, and saw its revenue drop to €194m, which is a fall of 3.4%. That's not what we would hope to see.

Caveat Emptor

Importantly, PCAS had an earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) loss over the last year. Indeed, it lost €11m 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. However, it doesn't help that it burned through €34m of cash over the last year. So suffice it to say we consider the stock very risky. 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 - PCAS has 2 warning signs we think you should be aware of.

At the end of the day, it's often better to focus on companies that are free from net debt. You can access our special list of such companies (all with a track record of profit growth). It's free.

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