Stock Analysis

Is Delta Galil Industries (TLV:DELT) A Risky Investment?

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Some say volatility, rather than debt, is the best way to think about risk as an investor, but Warren Buffett famously said that '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. As with many other companies Delta Galil Industries Ltd. (TLV:DELT) makes use of debt. But should shareholders be worried about its use of debt?

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. Of course, plenty of companies use debt to fund growth, without any negative consequences. When we examine debt levels, we first consider both cash and debt levels, together.

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What Is Delta Galil Industries's Debt?

You can click the graphic below for the historical numbers, but it shows that Delta Galil Industries had US$397.4m of debt in March 2022, down from US$476.9m, one year before. However, it also had US$217.8m in cash, and so its net debt is US$179.6m.

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TASE:DELT Debt to Equity History June 6th 2022

How Strong Is Delta Galil Industries' Balance Sheet?

According to the last reported balance sheet, Delta Galil Industries had liabilities of US$551.9m due within 12 months, and liabilities of US$644.5m due beyond 12 months. Offsetting this, it had US$217.8m in cash and US$202.1m in receivables that were due within 12 months. So its liabilities total US$776.5m more than the combination of its cash and short-term receivables.

Delta Galil Industries has a market capitalization of US$1.43b, so it could very likely raise cash to ameliorate its balance sheet, if the need arose. However, it is still worthwhile taking a close look at its ability to pay off debt.

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). The advantage of this approach is that we take into account both the absolute quantum of debt (with net debt to EBITDA) and the actual interest expenses associated with that debt (with its interest cover ratio).

While Delta Galil Industries's low debt to EBITDA ratio of 0.64 suggests only modest use of debt, the fact that EBIT only covered the interest expense by 6.4 times last year does give us pause. So we'd recommend keeping a close eye on the impact financing costs are having on the business. Even more impressive was the fact that Delta Galil Industries grew its EBIT by 105% over twelve months. If maintained that growth will make the debt even more manageable in the years ahead. When analysing debt levels, the balance sheet is the obvious place to start. But you can't view debt in total isolation; since Delta Galil Industries will need earnings to service that debt. So when considering debt, it's definitely worth looking at the earnings trend. Click here for an interactive snapshot.

But our final consideration is also important, because a company cannot pay debt with paper profits; it needs cold hard cash. So we always check how much of that EBIT is translated into free cash flow. Over the last three years, Delta Galil Industries actually produced more free cash flow than EBIT. 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, Delta Galil Industries's impressive conversion of EBIT to free cash flow implies it has the upper hand on its debt. But truth be told we feel its level of total liabilities does undermine this impression a bit. Looking at the bigger picture, we think Delta Galil Industries's use of debt seems quite reasonable and we're not concerned about it. While debt does bring risk, when used wisely it can also bring a higher return on equity. 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 example, we've discovered 1 warning sign for Delta Galil Industries that you should be aware of before investing here.

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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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.