Stock Analysis

We Think E. Schnapp Works (TLV:SHNP) Can Manage Its Debt With Ease

TASE:SHNP
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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. Importantly, E. Schnapp & Co. Works Ltd (TLV:SHNP) does carry debt. But should shareholders be worried about its use of debt?

When Is Debt Dangerous?

Generally speaking, debt only becomes a real problem when a company can't easily pay it off, either by raising capital or with its own cash flow. If things get really bad, the lenders can take control of the business. 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. 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.

View our latest analysis for E. Schnapp Works

What Is E. Schnapp Works's Debt?

You can click the graphic below for the historical numbers, but it shows that E. Schnapp Works had ₪103.7m of debt in September 2020, down from ₪152.5m, one year before. However, it also had ₪9.07m in cash, and so its net debt is ₪94.7m.

debt-equity-history-analysis
TASE:SHNP Debt to Equity History January 13th 2021

A Look At E. Schnapp Works' Liabilities

The latest balance sheet data shows that E. Schnapp Works had liabilities of ₪113.8m due within a year, and liabilities of ₪80.9m falling due after that. Offsetting these obligations, it had cash of ₪9.07m as well as receivables valued at ₪156.5m due within 12 months. So its liabilities outweigh the sum of its cash and (near-term) receivables by ₪29.1m.

Given E. Schnapp Works has a market capitalization of ₪183.9m, it's hard to believe these liabilities pose much threat. However, we do think it is worth keeping an eye on its balance sheet strength, as it may change over time.

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.

E. Schnapp Works's net debt to EBITDA ratio of about 1.9 suggests only moderate use of debt. And its strong interest cover of 13.8 times, makes us even more comfortable. It is well worth noting that E. Schnapp Works's EBIT shot up like bamboo after rain, gaining 68% in the last twelve months. That'll make it easier to manage its debt. There's no doubt that we learn most about debt from the balance sheet. But you can't view debt in total isolation; since E. Schnapp Works will need earnings to service that debt. 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.

But our final consideration is also important, because a company cannot pay debt with paper profits; it needs cold hard cash. So the logical step is to look at the proportion of that EBIT that is matched by actual free cash flow. Over the last three years, E. Schnapp Works actually produced more free cash flow than EBIT. That sort of strong cash generation warms our hearts like a puppy in a bumblebee suit.

Our View

E. Schnapp Works's interest cover suggests it can handle its debt as easily as Cristiano Ronaldo could score a goal against an under 14's goalkeeper. And that's just the beginning of the good news since its conversion of EBIT to free cash flow is also very heartening. Overall, we don't think E. Schnapp Works is taking any bad risks, as its debt load seems modest. So the balance sheet looks pretty healthy, to us. There's no doubt that we learn most about debt from the balance sheet. But ultimately, every company can contain risks that exist outside of the balance sheet. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 5 warning signs with E. Schnapp Works (at least 1 which doesn't sit too well with us) , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

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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