Does Kordellos Ch. Bros (ATH:KORDE) Have A Healthy Balance Sheet?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
May 08, 2022
ATSE:KORDE
Source: Shutterstock

David Iben put it well when he said, 'Volatility is not a risk we care about. What we care about is avoiding the permanent loss of capital.' 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 Kordellos Ch. Bros S.A. (ATH:KORDE) does have debt on its balance sheet. But the more important question is: how much risk is that debt creating?

Why Does Debt Bring Risk?

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. While that is not too common, we often do see indebted companies permanently diluting shareholders because lenders force them to raise capital at a distressed price. 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. The first thing to do when considering how much debt a business uses is to look at its cash and debt together.

Check out our latest analysis for Kordellos Ch. Bros

What Is Kordellos Ch. Bros's Net Debt?

As you can see below, Kordellos Ch. Bros had €26.5m of debt, at December 2021, which is about the same as the year before. You can click the chart for greater detail. On the flip side, it has €2.04m in cash leading to net debt of about €24.5m.

debt-equity-history-analysis
ATSE:KORDE Debt to Equity History May 8th 2022

A Look At Kordellos Ch. Bros' Liabilities

We can see from the most recent balance sheet that Kordellos Ch. Bros had liabilities of €8.22m falling due within a year, and liabilities of €28.8m due beyond that. Offsetting these obligations, it had cash of €2.04m as well as receivables valued at €21.6m due within 12 months. So its liabilities total €13.4m more than the combination of its cash and short-term receivables.

Given this deficit is actually higher than the company's market capitalization of €11.0m, we think shareholders really should watch Kordellos Ch. Bros's debt levels, like a parent watching their child ride a bike for the first time. Hypothetically, extremely heavy dilution would be required if the company were forced to pay down its liabilities by raising capital at the current share price.

We measure a company's debt load relative to its earnings power by looking at its net debt divided by its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) and by calculating how easily its earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) cover its interest expense (interest cover). This way, we consider both the absolute quantum of the debt, as well as the interest rates paid on it.

Kordellos Ch. Bros has a debt to EBITDA ratio of 3.1 and its EBIT covered its interest expense 5.3 times. This suggests that while the debt levels are significant, we'd stop short of calling them problematic. Pleasingly, Kordellos Ch. Bros is growing its EBIT faster than former Australian PM Bob Hawke downs a yard glass, boasting a 398% gain in the last twelve months. When analysing debt levels, the balance sheet is the obvious place to start. But it is Kordellos Ch. Bros'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.

Finally, while the tax-man may adore accounting profits, lenders only accept cold hard cash. So we clearly need to look at whether that EBIT is leading to corresponding free cash flow. Considering the last three years, Kordellos Ch. Bros actually recorded a cash outflow, overall. Debt is usually more expensive, and almost always more risky in the hands of a company with negative free cash flow. Shareholders ought to hope for an improvement.

Our View

On the face of it, Kordellos Ch. Bros's level of total liabilities left us tentative about the stock, and its conversion of EBIT to free cash flow was no more enticing than the one empty restaurant on the busiest night of the year. 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 Kordellos Ch. Bros stock a bit risky. Some people like that sort of risk, but we're mindful of the potential pitfalls, so we'd probably prefer it carry less debt. 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 instance, we've identified 3 warning signs for Kordellos Ch. Bros (1 is a bit concerning) you should be aware of.

If you're interested in investing in businesses that can grow profits without the burden of debt, then check out this free list of growing businesses that have net cash on the balance sheet.

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