Stock Analysis

Would Goldstone Resources (LON:GRL) Be Better Off With Less Debt?

  •  Updated
AIM:GRL
Source: Shutterstock

Howard Marks put it nicely when he said that, rather than worrying about share price volatility, 'The possibility of permanent loss is the risk I worry about... and every practical investor I know worries about.' 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. We can see that Goldstone Resources Limited (LON:GRL) does use debt in its business. But the more important question is: how much risk is that debt creating?

Why Does Debt Bring Risk?

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 frequent (but still costly) occurrence is where a company must issue shares at bargain-basement prices, permanently diluting shareholders, just to shore up its balance sheet. 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.

See our latest analysis for Goldstone Resources

What Is Goldstone Resources's Net Debt?

As you can see below, Goldstone Resources had US$4.81m of debt at June 2022, down from US$5.52m a year prior. However, it does have US$927.7k in cash offsetting this, leading to net debt of about US$3.89m.

debt-equity-history-analysis
AIM:GRL Debt to Equity History October 3rd 2022

How Strong Is Goldstone Resources' Balance Sheet?

According to the last reported balance sheet, Goldstone Resources had liabilities of US$6.95m due within 12 months, and liabilities of US$901.3k due beyond 12 months. Offsetting these obligations, it had cash of US$927.7k as well as receivables valued at US$273.7k due within 12 months. So it has liabilities totalling US$6.65m more than its cash and near-term receivables, combined.

Of course, Goldstone Resources has a market capitalization of US$34.8m, so these liabilities are probably manageable. But there are sufficient liabilities that we would certainly recommend shareholders continue to monitor the balance sheet, going forward. There's no doubt that we learn most about debt from the balance sheet. But it is future earnings, more than anything, that will determine Goldstone Resources's ability to maintain a healthy balance sheet going forward. So if you want to see what the professionals think, you might find this free report on analyst profit forecasts to be interesting.

In the last year Goldstone Resources managed to produce its first revenue as a listed company, but given the lack of profit, shareholders will no doubt be hoping to see some strong increases.

Caveat Emptor

Over the last twelve months Goldstone Resources produced an earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) loss. To be specific the EBIT loss came in at US$533k. 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. Quite frankly we think the balance sheet is far from match-fit, although it could be improved with time. However, it doesn't help that it burned through US$2.9m of cash over the last year. So in short it's a really risky stock. 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 Goldstone Resources has 5 warning signs (and 1 which is a bit unpleasant) we think you should know about.

Of course, if you're the type of investor who prefers buying stocks without the burden of debt, then don't hesitate to discover our exclusive list of net cash growth stocks, today.

Valuation is complex, but we're helping make it simple.

Find out whether Goldstone Resources 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

About AIM:GRL

Goldstone Resources

Goldstone Resources Limited, through its subsidiaries, engages in the exploration and development of gold and associated elements in West and Central Africa.

The Snowflake is a visual investment summary with the score of each axis being calculated by 6 checks in 5 areas.

Analysis AreaScore (0-6)
Valuation0
Future Growth0
Past Performance0
Financial Health2
Dividends0

Read more about these checks in the individual report sections or in our analysis model.

Imperfect balance sheet with weak fundamentals.