Does McBride (LON:MCB) Have A Healthy Balance Sheet?

Published
June 02, 2022
LSE:MCB
Source: Shutterstock

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.' So it seems the smart money knows that debt - which is usually involved in bankruptcies - is a very important factor, when you assess how risky a company is. As with many other companies McBride plc (LON:MCB) makes use of debt. But the real question is whether this debt is making the company risky.

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. Ultimately, if the company can't fulfill its legal obligations to repay debt, shareholders could walk away with nothing. 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. When we think about a company's use of debt, we first look at cash and debt together.

Check out our latest analysis for McBride

How Much Debt Does McBride Carry?

You can click the graphic below for the historical numbers, but it shows that as of December 2021 McBride had UK£147.0m of debt, an increase on UK£127.6m, over one year. However, it also had UK£34.9m in cash, and so its net debt is UK£112.1m.

debt-equity-history-analysis
LSE:MCB Debt to Equity History June 2nd 2022

A Look At McBride's Liabilities

Zooming in on the latest balance sheet data, we can see that McBride had liabilities of UK£251.5m due within 12 months and liabilities of UK£131.7m due beyond that. On the other hand, it had cash of UK£34.9m and UK£125.4m worth of receivables due within a year. So it has liabilities totalling UK£222.9m more than its cash and near-term receivables, combined.

This deficit casts a shadow over the UK£53.9m 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, McBride would probably need a major re-capitalization if its creditors were to demand repayment. When analysing debt levels, the balance sheet is the obvious place to start. But it is future earnings, more than anything, that will determine McBride'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.

In the last year McBride had a loss before interest and tax, and actually shrunk its revenue by 11%, to UK£643m. That's not what we would hope to see.

Caveat Emptor

While McBride's falling revenue is about as heartwarming as a wet blanket, arguably its earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) loss is even less appealing. Its EBIT loss was a whopping UK£9.2m. 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 vaporized UK£4.0m in cash over the last twelve months, and it doesn't have much by way of liquid assets. So we consider this a high risk stock and we wouldn't be at all surprised if the company asks shareholders for money before long. When analysing debt levels, the balance sheet is the obvious place to start. However, not all investment risk resides within the balance sheet - far from it. For example McBride has 3 warning signs (and 1 which makes us a bit uncomfortable) we think you should know about.

If, after all that, you're more interested in a fast growing company with a rock-solid balance sheet, then check out our list of net cash growth stocks without delay.

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