What You Must Know About Games Workshop Group PLC’s (LON:GAW) Financial Strength

Zero-debt allows substantial financial flexibility, especially for small-cap companies like Games Workshop Group PLC (LON:GAW), as the company does not have to adhere to strict debt covenants. However, it also faces higher cost of capital given interest cost is generally lower than equity. Zero-debt can alleviate some risk associated with the company meeting debt obligations, but this doesn’t automatically mean GAW has outstanding financial strength. I recommend you look at the following hurdles to assess GAW’s financial health.

View our latest analysis for Games Workshop Group

Is GAW growing fast enough to value financial flexibility over lower cost of capital?

Debt funding can be cheaper than issuing new equity due to lower interest cost on debt. However, the trade-off is debtholders’ higher claim on company assets in the event of liquidation and stringent obligations around capital management. GAW’s absence of debt on its balance sheet may be due to lack of access to cheaper capital, or it may simply believe low cost is not worth sacrificing financial flexibility. However, choosing flexibility over capital returns is logical only if it’s a high-growth company. GAW’s revenue growth over the past year is a double-digit 39% which is considerably high for a small-cap company. So, it is acceptable that the company is opting for a zero-debt capital structure currently as it may need to raise debt to fuel expansion in the future.

LSE:GAW Historical Debt December 15th 18
LSE:GAW Historical Debt December 15th 18

Does GAW’s liquid assets cover its short-term commitments?

Given zero long-term debt on its balance sheet, Games Workshop Group has no solvency issues, which is used to describe the company’s ability to meet its long-term obligations. But another important aspect of financial health is liquidity: the company’s ability to meet short-term obligations, including payments to suppliers and employees. With current liabilities at UK£31m, it seems that the business has been able to meet these commitments with a current assets level of UK£63m, leading to a 2.05x current account ratio. Generally, for Leisure companies, this is a reasonable ratio since there is a bit of a cash buffer without leaving too much capital in a low-return environment.

Next Steps:

GAW is a fast-growing firm, which supports having have zero-debt and financial freedom to continue to ramp up growth. Since there is also no concerns around GAW’s liquidity needs, this may be its optimal capital structure for the time being. In the future, its financial position may be different. This is only a rough assessment of financial health, and I’m sure GAW has company-specific issues impacting its capital structure decisions. I recommend you continue to research Games Workshop Group to get a better picture of the stock by looking at:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for GAW’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for GAW’s outlook.
  2. Valuation: What is GAW worth today? Is the stock undervalued, even when its growth outlook is factored into its intrinsic value? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether GAW is currently mispriced by the market.
  3. Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore our free list of these great stocks here.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.