Stock Analysis

We Think Delta Galil Industries (TLV:DELT) Is Taking Some Risk With Its Debt

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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.' 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?

When Is Debt A Problem?

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. In the worst case scenario, a company can go bankrupt if it cannot pay its creditors. 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. Of course, plenty of companies use debt to fund growth, without any negative consequences. The first step when considering a company's debt levels is to consider its cash and debt together.

Check out our latest analysis for Delta Galil Industries

How Much Debt Does Delta Galil Industries Carry?

As you can see below, at the end of September 2020, Delta Galil Industries had US$512.0m of debt, up from US$480.5m a year ago. Click the image for more detail. However, it does have US$215.5m in cash offsetting this, leading to net debt of about US$296.5m.

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TASE:DELT Debt to Equity History February 25th 2021

How Healthy Is Delta Galil Industries' Balance Sheet?

The latest balance sheet data shows that Delta Galil Industries had liabilities of US$500.6m due within a year, and liabilities of US$688.9m falling due after that. Offsetting these obligations, it had cash of US$215.5m as well as receivables valued at US$192.0m due within 12 months. So its liabilities total US$782.0m more than the combination of its cash and short-term receivables.

When you consider that this deficiency exceeds the company's US$624.8m market capitalization, you might well be inclined to review the balance sheet intently. 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 use two main ratios to inform us about debt levels relative to earnings. The first is net debt divided by earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA), while the second is how many times its earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) covers its interest expense (or its interest cover, for short). This way, we consider both the absolute quantum of the debt, as well as the interest rates paid on it.

While Delta Galil Industries has a quite reasonable net debt to EBITDA multiple of 2.0, its interest cover seems weak, at 1.5. In large part that's it has so much depreciation and amortisation. These charges may be non-cash, so they could be excluded when it comes to paying down debt. But the accounting charges are there for a reason -- some assets are seen to be losing value. Either way there's no doubt the stock is using meaningful leverage. Importantly, Delta Galil Industries's EBIT fell a jaw-dropping 43% in the last twelve months. If that earnings trend continues then paying off its debt will be about as easy as herding cats on to a roller coaster. There's no doubt that we learn most about debt from the balance sheet. But it is Delta Galil Industries'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, a company can only pay off debt with cold hard cash, not accounting profits. 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, 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

To be frank both Delta Galil Industries's interest cover and its track record of (not) growing its EBIT make us rather uncomfortable with its debt levels. But on the bright side, its conversion of EBIT to free cash flow is a good sign, and makes us more optimistic. Overall, we think it's fair to say that Delta Galil Industries has enough debt that there are some real risks around the balance sheet. If everything goes well that may pay off but the downside of this debt is a greater risk of permanent losses. 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 example - Delta Galil Industries has 2 warning signs we think you should be aware of.

If, after all that, you're more interested in a fast growing company with a rock-solid balance sheet, then check out our list of net cash growth stocks without delay.

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