Stock Analysis

Alony-Hetz Properties & Investments (TLV:ALHE) Has Debt But No Earnings; Should You Worry?

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The external fund manager backed by Berkshire Hathaway's Charlie Munger, Li Lu, makes no bones about it when he says 'The biggest investment risk is not the volatility of prices, but whether you will suffer a permanent loss of capital.' So it might be obvious that you need to consider debt, when you think about how risky any given stock is, because too much debt can sink a company. Importantly, Alony-Hetz Properties & Investments Ltd (TLV:ALHE) does carry debt. But the more important question is: how much risk is that debt creating?

What Risk Does Debt Bring?

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, plenty of companies use debt to fund growth, without any negative consequences. The first thing to do when considering how much debt a business uses is to look at its cash and debt together.

See our latest analysis for Alony-Hetz Properties & Investments

What Is Alony-Hetz Properties & Investments's Debt?

As you can see below, at the end of December 2023, Alony-Hetz Properties & Investments had ₪22.1b of debt, up from ₪18.6b a year ago. Click the image for more detail. However, it does have ₪2.20b in cash offsetting this, leading to net debt of about ₪19.9b.

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TASE:ALHE Debt to Equity History May 8th 2024

A Look At Alony-Hetz Properties & Investments' Liabilities

The latest balance sheet data shows that Alony-Hetz Properties & Investments had liabilities of ₪4.86b due within a year, and liabilities of ₪22.8b falling due after that. Offsetting this, it had ₪2.20b in cash and ₪205.9m in receivables that were due within 12 months. So its liabilities outweigh the sum of its cash and (near-term) receivables by ₪25.3b.

The deficiency here weighs heavily on the ₪4.76b 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 definitely think shareholders need to watch this one closely. After all, Alony-Hetz Properties & Investments would likely require a major re-capitalisation if it had to pay its creditors today. There's no doubt that we learn most about debt from the balance sheet. But you can't view debt in total isolation; since Alony-Hetz Properties & Investments 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.

In the last year Alony-Hetz Properties & Investments had a loss before interest and tax, and actually shrunk its revenue by 65%, to ₪285m. To be frank that doesn't bode well.

Caveat Emptor

Not only did Alony-Hetz Properties & Investments's revenue slip over the last twelve months, but it also produced negative earnings before interest and tax (EBIT). To be specific the EBIT loss came in at ₪356m. If you consider the significant liabilities mentioned above, we are extremely wary of this investment. Of course, it may be able to improve its situation with a bit of luck and good execution. Nevertheless, we would not bet on it given that it vaporized ₪1.8b in cash over the last twelve months, and it doesn't have much by way of liquid assets. So we think this stock is risky, like walking through a dirty dog park with a mask on. The balance sheet is clearly the area to focus on when you are analysing debt. However, not all investment risk resides within the balance sheet - far from it. Be aware that Alony-Hetz Properties & Investments is showing 3 warning signs in our investment analysis , you should know about...

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.

Valuation is complex, but we're helping make it simple.

Find out whether Alony-Hetz Properties & Investments 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.

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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.