Stock Analysis

Is N.R. Spuntech Industries (TLV:SPNTC) Using Too Much Debt?

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TASE:SPNTC
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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.' When we think about how risky a company is, we always like to look at its use of debt, since debt overload can lead to ruin. As with many other companies N.R. Spuntech Industries Ltd. (TLV:SPNTC) makes use of debt. But should shareholders be worried about its use of debt?

When Is Debt Dangerous?

Debt assists a business until the business has trouble paying it off, either with new capital or with free cash flow. 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, 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 think about a company's use of debt, we first look at cash and debt together.

View our latest analysis for N.R. Spuntech Industries

What Is N.R. Spuntech Industries's Debt?

As you can see below, at the end of September 2022, N.R. Spuntech Industries had ₪253.2m of debt, up from ₪214.3m a year ago. Click the image for more detail. On the flip side, it has ₪48.8m in cash leading to net debt of about ₪204.4m.

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TASE:SPNTC Debt to Equity History March 17th 2023

How Strong Is N.R. Spuntech Industries' Balance Sheet?

According to the last reported balance sheet, N.R. Spuntech Industries had liabilities of ₪254.9m due within 12 months, and liabilities of ₪190.2m due beyond 12 months. On the other hand, it had cash of ₪48.8m and ₪128.4m worth of receivables due within a year. So it has liabilities totalling ₪267.9m more than its cash and near-term receivables, combined.

The deficiency here weighs heavily on the ₪176.9m company itself, as if a child were struggling under the weight of an enormous back-pack full of books, his sports gear, and a trumpet. So we'd watch its balance sheet closely, without a doubt. At the end of the day, N.R. Spuntech Industries would probably need a major re-capitalization if its creditors were to demand repayment.

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). This way, we consider both the absolute quantum of the debt, as well as the interest rates paid on it.

N.R. Spuntech Industries has a rather high debt to EBITDA ratio of 7.5 which suggests a meaningful debt load. But the good news is that it boasts fairly comforting interest cover of 5.9 times, suggesting it can responsibly service its obligations. Importantly, N.R. Spuntech Industries's EBIT fell a jaw-dropping 97% 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. When analysing debt levels, the balance sheet is the obvious place to start. But it is N.R. Spuntech Industries's earnings that will influence how the balance sheet holds up in the future. So when considering debt, it's definitely worth looking at the earnings trend. Click here for an interactive snapshot.

Finally, a business needs free cash flow to pay off debt; accounting profits just don't cut it. So it's worth checking how much of that EBIT is backed by free cash flow. Over the most recent three years, N.R. Spuntech Industries recorded free cash flow worth 70% of its EBIT, which is around normal, given free cash flow excludes interest and tax. This cold hard cash means it can reduce its debt when it wants to.

Our View

On the face of it, N.R. Spuntech Industries's net debt to EBITDA left us tentative about the stock, and its EBIT growth rate was no more enticing than the one empty restaurant on the busiest night of the year. But on the bright side, its conversion of EBIT to free cash flow is a good sign, and makes us more optimistic. Overall, it seems to us that N.R. Spuntech Industries's balance sheet is really quite a risk to the business. So we're almost as wary of this stock as a hungry kitten is about falling into its owner's fish pond: once bitten, twice shy, as they say. 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. For instance, we've identified 3 warning signs for N.R. Spuntech Industries (1 shouldn't be ignored) you should be aware of.

Of course, if you're the type of investor who prefers buying stocks without the burden of debt, then don't hesitate to discover our exclusive list of net cash growth stocks, today.

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