Is Almogim Holdings (TLV:ALMA) Using Too Much Debt?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
January 26, 2022
TASE:ALMA
Source: Shutterstock

Warren Buffett famously said, 'Volatility is far from synonymous with risk.' 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. We can see that Almogim Holdings Ltd. (TLV:ALMA) does use debt in its business. But the real question is whether this debt is making the company risky.

When Is Debt A Problem?

Debt assists a business until the business has trouble paying it off, either with new capital or with free cash flow. Part and parcel of capitalism is the process of 'creative destruction' where failed businesses are mercilessly liquidated by their bankers. 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. The first step when considering a company's debt levels is to consider its cash and debt together.

Check out our latest analysis for Almogim Holdings

What Is Almogim Holdings's Net Debt?

As you can see below, at the end of September 2021, Almogim Holdings had ₪390.3m of debt, up from ₪338.3m a year ago. Click the image for more detail. However, it does have ₪86.3m in cash offsetting this, leading to net debt of about ₪304.0m.

debt-equity-history-analysis
TASE:ALMA Debt to Equity History January 26th 2022

A Look At Almogim Holdings' Liabilities

We can see from the most recent balance sheet that Almogim Holdings had liabilities of ₪309.1m falling due within a year, and liabilities of ₪330.4m due beyond that. Offsetting these obligations, it had cash of ₪86.3m as well as receivables valued at ₪9.80m due within 12 months. So its liabilities outweigh the sum of its cash and (near-term) receivables by ₪543.4m.

This deficit casts a shadow over the ₪323.0m company, like a colossus towering over mere mortals. So we definitely think shareholders need to watch this one closely. After all, Almogim Holdings would likely require a major re-capitalisation if it had to pay its creditors today.

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.

Almogim Holdings has a rather high debt to EBITDA ratio of 5.8 which suggests a meaningful debt load. But the good news is that it boasts fairly comforting interest cover of 4.0 times, suggesting it can responsibly service its obligations. Looking on the bright side, Almogim Holdings boosted its EBIT by a silky 72% in the last year. Like the milk of human kindness that sort of growth increases resilience, making the company more capable of managing debt. When analysing debt levels, the balance sheet is the obvious place to start. But you can't view debt in total isolation; since Almogim Holdings 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 we clearly need to look at whether that EBIT is leading to corresponding free cash flow. During the last three years, Almogim Holdings produced sturdy free cash flow equating to 76% of its EBIT, about what we'd expect. This free cash flow puts the company in a good position to pay down debt, when appropriate.

Our View

While Almogim Holdings's level of total liabilities has us nervous. For example, its EBIT growth rate and conversion of EBIT to free cash flow give us some confidence in its ability to manage its debt. Taking the abovementioned factors together we do think Almogim Holdings's debt poses some risks to the business. So while that leverage does boost returns on equity, we wouldn't really want to see it increase from here. The balance sheet is clearly the area to focus on when you are analysing debt. But ultimately, every company can contain risks that exist outside of the balance sheet. For example Almogim Holdings has 2 warning signs (and 1 which is significant) we think you should know about.

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.

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