We Think Nava Bharat Ventures (NSE:NBVENTURES) Is Taking Some Risk With Its Debt

By
Simply Wall St
Published
March 15, 2022
NSEI:NBVENTURES
Source: Shutterstock

Some say volatility, rather than debt, is the best way to think about risk as an investor, but Warren Buffett famously said that '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. Importantly, Nava Bharat Ventures Limited (NSE:NBVENTURES) does carry debt. But should shareholders be worried about its use of debt?

Why Does Debt Bring Risk?

Generally speaking, debt only becomes a real problem when a company can't easily pay it off, either by raising capital or with its own cash flow. Ultimately, if the company can't fulfill its legal obligations to repay debt, shareholders could walk away with nothing. 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 step when considering a company's debt levels is to consider its cash and debt together.

Check out our latest analysis for Nava Bharat Ventures

What Is Nava Bharat Ventures's Debt?

You can click the graphic below for the historical numbers, but it shows that as of September 2021 Nava Bharat Ventures had ₹33.7b of debt, an increase on ₹25.5b, over one year. However, because it has a cash reserve of ₹7.36b, its net debt is less, at about ₹26.3b.

debt-equity-history-analysis
NSEI:NBVENTURES Debt to Equity History March 15th 2022

How Strong Is Nava Bharat Ventures' Balance Sheet?

The latest balance sheet data shows that Nava Bharat Ventures had liabilities of ₹20.3b due within a year, and liabilities of ₹28.9b falling due after that. Offsetting this, it had ₹7.36b in cash and ₹9.51b in receivables that were due within 12 months. So it has liabilities totalling ₹32.3b more than its cash and near-term receivables, combined.

The deficiency here weighs heavily on the ₹18.6b 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. At the end of the day, Nava Bharat Ventures would probably need a major re-capitalization if its creditors were to demand repayment.

We measure a company's debt load relative to its earnings power by looking at its net debt divided by its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) and by calculating how easily its earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) cover its interest expense (interest cover). Thus we consider debt relative to earnings both with and without depreciation and amortization expenses.

Nava Bharat Ventures has net debt worth 2.2 times EBITDA, which isn't too much, but its interest cover looks a bit on the low side, with EBIT at only 4.7 times the interest expense. While these numbers do not alarm us, it's worth noting that the cost of the company's debt is having a real impact. We note that Nava Bharat Ventures grew its EBIT by 20% in the last year, and that should make it easier to pay down debt, going forward. The balance sheet is clearly the area to focus on when you are analysing debt. But you can't view debt in total isolation; since Nava Bharat Ventures 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 business needs free cash flow to pay off debt; accounting profits just don't cut it. So the logical step is to look at the proportion of that EBIT that is matched by actual free cash flow. During the last three years, Nava Bharat Ventures produced sturdy free cash flow equating to 72% 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

Nava Bharat Ventures's struggle to handle its total liabilities had us second guessing its balance sheet strength, but the other data-points we considered were relatively redeeming. In particular, its conversion of EBIT to free cash flow was re-invigorating. When we consider all the factors discussed, it seems to us that Nava Bharat Ventures is taking some risks with its use of debt. While that debt can boost returns, we think the company has enough leverage now. When analysing debt levels, the balance sheet is the obvious place to start. But ultimately, every company can contain risks that exist outside of the balance sheet. To that end, you should be aware of the 2 warning signs we've spotted with Nava Bharat Ventures .

If, after all that, you're more interested in a fast growing company with a rock-solid balance sheet, then check out our list of net cash growth stocks without delay.

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