Does Mirza International (NSE:MIRZAINT) Have A Healthy Balance Sheet?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
November 22, 2021
NSEI:MIRZAINT
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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.' When we think about how risky a company is, we always like to look at its use of debt, since debt overload can lead to ruin. As with many other companies Mirza International Limited (NSE:MIRZAINT) makes use of debt. But is this debt a concern to shareholders?

When Is Debt A Problem?

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. Part and parcel of capitalism is the process of 'creative destruction' where failed businesses are mercilessly liquidated by their bankers. However, a more frequent (but still costly) occurrence is where a company must issue shares at bargain-basement prices, permanently diluting shareholders, just to shore up its balance sheet. Having said that, the most common situation is where a company manages its debt reasonably well - and to its own advantage. When we examine debt levels, we first consider both cash and debt levels, together.

See our latest analysis for Mirza International

What Is Mirza International's Net Debt?

As you can see below, Mirza International had ₹1.13b of debt at September 2021, down from ₹2.69b a year prior. On the flip side, it has ₹125.7m in cash leading to net debt of about ₹999.6m.

debt-equity-history-analysis
NSEI:MIRZAINT Debt to Equity History November 23rd 2021

How Strong Is Mirza International's Balance Sheet?

We can see from the most recent balance sheet that Mirza International had liabilities of ₹3.57b falling due within a year, and liabilities of ₹2.49b due beyond that. Offsetting this, it had ₹125.7m in cash and ₹1.38b in receivables that were due within 12 months. So its liabilities outweigh the sum of its cash and (near-term) receivables by ₹4.54b.

This deficit isn't so bad because Mirza International is worth ₹9.74b, and thus could probably raise enough capital to shore up its balance sheet, if the need arose. But we definitely want to keep our eyes open to indications that its debt is bringing too much risk.

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). The advantage of this approach is that we take into account both the absolute quantum of debt (with net debt to EBITDA) and the actual interest expenses associated with that debt (with its interest cover ratio).

Looking at its net debt to EBITDA of 0.68 and interest cover of 3.1 times, it seems to us that Mirza International is probably using debt in a pretty reasonable way. But the interest payments are certainly sufficient to have us thinking about how affordable its debt is. It is well worth noting that Mirza International's EBIT shot up like bamboo after rain, gaining 62% in the last twelve months. That'll make it easier to manage its debt. There's no doubt that we learn most about debt from the balance sheet. But you can't view debt in total isolation; since Mirza International 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, a business needs free cash flow to pay off debt; accounting profits just don't cut it. So it's worth checking how much of that EBIT is backed by free cash flow. Happily for any shareholders, Mirza International 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.

Our View

Happily, Mirza International's impressive conversion of EBIT to free cash flow implies it has the upper hand on its debt. But we must concede we find its interest cover has the opposite effect. When we consider the range of factors above, it looks like Mirza International is pretty sensible with its use of debt. That means they are taking on a bit more risk, in the hope of boosting shareholder returns. 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. We've identified 2 warning signs with Mirza International (at least 1 which is a bit unpleasant) , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

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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