- Real Estate
These 4 Measures Indicate That Electra Real Estate (TLV:ELCRE) Is Using Debt Reasonably Well
Howard Marks put it nicely when he said that, rather than worrying about share price volatility, 'The possibility of permanent loss is the risk I worry about... and every practical investor I know worries about.' It's only natural to consider a company's balance sheet when you examine how risky it is, since debt is often involved when a business collapses. Importantly, Electra Real Estate Ltd. (TLV:ELCRE) does carry debt. But is this debt a concern to shareholders?
Why Does Debt Bring Risk?
Debt assists a business until the business has trouble paying it off, either with new capital or with free cash flow. 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, the upside of debt is that it often represents cheap capital, especially when it replaces dilution in a company with the ability to reinvest at high rates of return. When we examine debt levels, we first consider both cash and debt levels, together.
See our latest analysis for Electra Real Estate
How Much Debt Does Electra Real Estate Carry?
You can click the graphic below for the historical numbers, but it shows that as of September 2022 Electra Real Estate had US$284.5m of debt, an increase on US$208.5m, over one year. However, because it has a cash reserve of US$12.1m, its net debt is less, at about US$272.4m.
A Look At Electra Real Estate's Liabilities
The latest balance sheet data shows that Electra Real Estate had liabilities of US$115.7m due within a year, and liabilities of US$293.4m falling due after that. Offsetting these obligations, it had cash of US$12.1m as well as receivables valued at US$138.8m due within 12 months. So it has liabilities totalling US$258.1m more than its cash and near-term receivables, combined.
This deficit isn't so bad because Electra Real Estate is worth US$512.8m, and thus could probably raise enough capital to shore up its balance sheet, if the need arose. However, it is still worthwhile taking a close look at its ability to pay off debt.
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.
Electra Real Estate has a low debt to EBITDA ratio of only 0.96. But the really cool thing is that it actually managed to receive more interest than it paid, over the last year. So there's no doubt this company can take on debt while staying cool as a cucumber. Better yet, Electra Real Estate grew its EBIT by 148% last year, which is an impressive improvement. If maintained that growth will make the debt even more manageable in the years ahead. The balance sheet is clearly the area to focus on when you are analysing debt. But you can't view debt in total isolation; since Electra Real Estate 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.
Finally, while the tax-man may adore accounting profits, lenders only accept 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, Electra Real Estate reported free cash flow worth 17% of its EBIT, which is really quite low. For us, cash conversion that low sparks a little paranoia about is ability to extinguish debt.
Electra Real Estate's interest cover suggests it can handle its debt as easily as Cristiano Ronaldo could score a goal against an under 14's goalkeeper. But, on a more sombre note, we are a little concerned by its conversion of EBIT to free cash flow. All these things considered, it appears that Electra Real Estate can comfortably handle its current debt levels. On the plus side, this leverage can boost shareholder returns, but the potential downside is more risk of loss, so it's worth monitoring the balance sheet. 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. We've identified 4 warning signs with Electra Real Estate (at least 2 which are a bit concerning) , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.
At the end of the day, it's often better to focus on companies that are free from net debt. You can access our special list of such companies (all with a track record of profit growth). It's free.
Valuation is complex, but we're helping make it simple.
Find out whether Electra Real Estate is potentially over or undervalued by checking out our comprehensive analysis, which includes fair value estimates, risks and warnings, dividends, insider transactions and financial health.View the Free Analysis
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.
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.
Electra Real Estate
Electra Real Estate Ltd., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the establishment, operation, and management of private equity funds for the investment in income-yielding commercial properties in Israel and the United States.
Solid track record and good value.