Is Atlinks Group Limited’s (HKG:8043) Balance Sheet A Threat To Its Future?

Atlinks Group Limited (SEHK:8043) is a small-cap stock with a market capitalization of HK$158.00M. While investors primarily focus on the growth potential and competitive landscape of the small-cap companies, they end up ignoring a key aspect, which could be the biggest threat to its existence: its financial health. Why is it important? Communications companies, especially ones that are currently loss-making, tend to be high risk. Evaluating financial health as part of your investment thesis is vital. Here are a few basic checks that are good enough to have a broad overview of the company’s financial strength. However, since I only look at basic financial figures, I suggest you dig deeper yourself into 8043 here.

Does 8043 generate an acceptable amount of cash through operations?

8043’s debt levels surged from €8.67M to €9.16M over the last 12 months made up of predominantly near term debt. With this increase in debt, the current cash and short-term investment levels stands at €4.92M , ready to deploy into the business. Moving onto cash from operations, its trivial cash flows from operations make the cash-to-debt ratio less useful to us, though these low levels of cash means that operational efficiency is worth a look. For this article’s sake, I won’t be looking at this today, but you can assess some of 8043’s operating efficiency ratios such as ROA here.

Does 8043’s liquid assets cover its short-term commitments?

At the current liabilities level of €18.97M liabilities, the company has been able to meet these commitments with a current assets level of €23.62M, leading to a 1.25x current account ratio. Generally, for Communications companies, this is a reasonable ratio since there’s sufficient cash cushion without leaving too much capital idle or in low-earning investments.

SEHK:8043 Historical Debt Apr 10th 18
SEHK:8043 Historical Debt Apr 10th 18

Does 8043 face the risk of succumbing to its debt-load?

Since total debt levels have outpaced equities, 8043 is a highly leveraged company. This is not uncommon for a small-cap company given that debt tends to be lower-cost and at times, more accessible. But since 8043 is currently unprofitable, sustainability of its current state of operations becomes a concern. Running high debt, while not yet making money, can be risky in unexpected downturns as liquidity may dry up, making it hard to operate.

Next Steps:

At its current level of cash flow coverage, 8043 has room for improvement to better cushion for events which may require debt repayment. Though, the company exhibits an ability to meet its near term obligations should an adverse event occur. This is only a rough assessment of financial health, and I’m sure 8043 has company-specific issues impacting its capital structure decisions. You should continue to research Atlinks Group to get a more holistic view of the stock by looking at: