Stock Analysis

Is Everest Industries (NSE:EVERESTIND) A Risky Investment?

NSEI:EVERESTIND
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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. As with many other companies Everest Industries Limited (NSE:EVERESTIND) makes use of debt. But the real question is whether this debt is making the company risky.

Why Does Debt Bring Risk?

Debt and other liabilities become risky for a business when it cannot easily fulfill those obligations, either with free cash flow or by raising capital at an attractive price. In the worst case scenario, a company can go bankrupt if it cannot pay its creditors. 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. By replacing dilution, though, debt can be an extremely good tool for businesses that need capital to invest in growth at high rates of return. The first step when considering a company's debt levels is to consider its cash and debt together.

View our latest analysis for Everest Industries

How Much Debt Does Everest Industries Carry?

As you can see below, Everest Industries had ₹443.6m of debt at September 2020, down from ₹698.0m a year prior. However, its balance sheet shows it holds ₹2.18b in cash, so it actually has ₹1.74b net cash.

debt-equity-history-analysis
NSEI:EVERESTIND Debt to Equity History March 9th 2021

A Look At Everest Industries' Liabilities

We can see from the most recent balance sheet that Everest Industries had liabilities of ₹3.52b falling due within a year, and liabilities of ₹792.1m due beyond that. Offsetting these obligations, it had cash of ₹2.18b as well as receivables valued at ₹586.3m due within 12 months. So its liabilities outweigh the sum of its cash and (near-term) receivables by ₹1.55b.

Everest Industries has a market capitalization of ₹4.87b, so it could very likely raise cash to ameliorate its balance sheet, if the need arose. But it's clear that we should definitely closely examine whether it can manage its debt without dilution. While it does have liabilities worth noting, Everest Industries also has more cash than debt, so we're pretty confident it can manage its debt safely.

On top of that, Everest Industries grew its EBIT by 44% over the last twelve months, and that growth will make it easier to handle its debt. There's no doubt that we learn most about debt from the balance sheet. But it is Everest 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 company can only pay off debt with cold hard cash, not accounting profits. While Everest Industries has net cash on its balance sheet, it's still worth taking a look at its ability to convert earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) to free cash flow, to help us understand how quickly it is building (or eroding) that cash balance. Happily for any shareholders, Everest Industries actually produced more free cash flow than EBIT over the last three years. That sort of strong cash conversion gets us as excited as the crowd when the beat drops at a Daft Punk concert.

Summing up

Although Everest Industries's balance sheet isn't particularly strong, due to the total liabilities, it is clearly positive to see that it has net cash of ₹1.74b. And it impressed us with free cash flow of ₹2.3b, being 145% of its EBIT. So is Everest Industries's debt a risk? It doesn't seem so to us. 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. These risks can be hard to spot. Every company has them, and we've spotted 1 warning sign for Everest Industries you should know about.

If you're interested in investing in businesses that can grow profits without the burden of debt, then check out this free list of growing businesses that have net cash on the balance sheet.

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