Is Adgar Investments and Development (TLV:ADGR) Using Too Much Debt?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
May 30, 2021
TASE:ADGR
Source: Shutterstock

Legendary fund manager Li Lu (who Charlie Munger backed) once said, 'The biggest investment risk is not the volatility of prices, but whether you will suffer a permanent loss of capital.' 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, Adgar Investments and Development Ltd (TLV:ADGR) does carry debt. But the real question is whether this debt is making the company risky.

When Is Debt Dangerous?

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 common (but still painful) scenario is that it has to raise new equity capital at a low price, thus permanently diluting shareholders. Of course, plenty of companies use debt to fund growth, without any negative consequences. When we think about a company's use of debt, we first look at cash and debt together.

Check out our latest analysis for Adgar Investments and Development

What Is Adgar Investments and Development's Debt?

The image below, which you can click on for greater detail, shows that at December 2020 Adgar Investments and Development had debt of ₪3.21b, up from ₪3.00b in one year. However, it does have ₪424.4m in cash offsetting this, leading to net debt of about ₪2.78b.

debt-equity-history-analysis
TASE:ADGR Debt to Equity History May 31st 2021

How Healthy Is Adgar Investments and Development's Balance Sheet?

We can see from the most recent balance sheet that Adgar Investments and Development had liabilities of ₪518.1m falling due within a year, and liabilities of ₪3.04b due beyond that. Offsetting this, it had ₪424.4m in cash and ₪42.5m in receivables that were due within 12 months. So its liabilities outweigh the sum of its cash and (near-term) receivables by ₪3.09b.

The deficiency here weighs heavily on the ₪1.07b 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. After all, Adgar Investments and Development would likely require a major re-capitalisation if it had to pay its creditors today.

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.

Adgar Investments and Development shareholders face the double whammy of a high net debt to EBITDA ratio (14.8), and fairly weak interest coverage, since EBIT is just 2.0 times the interest expense. The debt burden here is substantial. Given the debt load, it's hardly ideal that Adgar Investments and Development's EBIT was pretty flat over the last twelve months. When analysing debt levels, the balance sheet is the obvious place to start. But you can't view debt in total isolation; since Adgar Investments and Development 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.

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. In the last three years, Adgar Investments and Development's free cash flow amounted to 44% of its EBIT, less than we'd expect. That's not great, when it comes to paying down debt.

Our View

On the face of it, Adgar Investments and Development's net debt to EBITDA left us tentative about the stock, and its level of total liabilities was no more enticing than the one empty restaurant on the busiest night of the year. But at least its EBIT growth rate is not so bad. Overall, it seems to us that Adgar Investments and Development'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. Case in point: We've spotted 3 warning signs for Adgar Investments and Development you should be aware of, and 1 of them doesn't sit too well with us.

When all is said and done, sometimes its easier to focus on companies that don't even need debt. Readers can access a list of growth stocks with zero net debt 100% free, right now.

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