China Yongda Automobiles Services Holdings (HKG:3669) Has A Pretty Healthy Balance Sheet

By
Simply Wall St
Published
March 18, 2022
SEHK:3669
Source: Shutterstock

Warren Buffett famously said, '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. We can see that China Yongda Automobiles Services Holdings Limited (HKG:3669) does use debt in its business. But the real question is whether this debt is making the company risky.

When Is Debt Dangerous?

Debt assists a business until the business has trouble paying it off, either with new capital or with free cash flow. 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 examine debt levels, we first consider both cash and debt levels, together.

Check out our latest analysis for China Yongda Automobiles Services Holdings

What Is China Yongda Automobiles Services Holdings's Debt?

As you can see below, China Yongda Automobiles Services Holdings had CN¥6.88b of debt at December 2021, down from CN¥10.3b a year prior. However, it also had CN¥2.34b in cash, and so its net debt is CN¥4.53b.

debt-equity-history-analysis
SEHK:3669 Debt to Equity History March 18th 2022

How Strong Is China Yongda Automobiles Services Holdings' Balance Sheet?

According to the last reported balance sheet, China Yongda Automobiles Services Holdings had liabilities of CN¥13.3b due within 12 months, and liabilities of CN¥3.95b due beyond 12 months. Offsetting these obligations, it had cash of CN¥2.34b as well as receivables valued at CN¥3.70b due within 12 months. So its liabilities total CN¥11.2b more than the combination of its cash and short-term receivables.

This deficit is considerable relative to its market capitalization of CN¥13.2b, so it does suggest shareholders should keep an eye on China Yongda Automobiles Services Holdings' use of debt. Should its lenders demand that it shore up the balance sheet, shareholders would likely face severe dilution.

In order to size up a company's debt relative to its earnings, we calculate its net debt divided by its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) and its earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) divided by its interest expense (its interest cover). Thus we consider debt relative to earnings both with and without depreciation and amortization expenses.

China Yongda Automobiles Services Holdings has net debt of just 0.98 times EBITDA, indicating that it is certainly not a reckless borrower. And it boasts interest cover of 8.5 times, which is more than adequate. In addition to that, we're happy to report that China Yongda Automobiles Services Holdings has boosted its EBIT by 44%, thus reducing the spectre of future debt repayments. When analysing debt levels, the balance sheet is the obvious place to start. But it is future earnings, more than anything, that will determine China Yongda Automobiles Services Holdings'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.

Finally, while the tax-man may adore accounting profits, lenders only accept cold hard cash. So it's worth checking how much of that EBIT is backed by free cash flow. Happily for any shareholders, China Yongda Automobiles Services Holdings actually produced more free cash flow than EBIT over the last three years. That sort of strong cash conversion gets us as excited as the crowd when the beat drops at a Daft Punk concert.

Our View

Happily, China Yongda Automobiles Services Holdings's impressive conversion of EBIT to free cash flow implies it has the upper hand on its debt. But, on a more sombre note, we are a little concerned by its level of total liabilities. Taking all this data into account, it seems to us that China Yongda Automobiles Services Holdings takes a pretty sensible approach to debt. That means they are taking on a bit more risk, in the hope of boosting shareholder returns. When analysing debt levels, the balance sheet is the obvious place to start. But ultimately, every company can contain risks that exist outside of the balance sheet. For instance, we've identified 2 warning signs for China Yongda Automobiles Services Holdings that you should be aware of.

When all is said and done, sometimes its easier to focus on companies that don't even need debt. Readers can access a list of growth stocks with zero net debt 100% free, right now.

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