Stock Analysis

Mirza International (NSE:MIRZAINT) Could Easily Take On More Debt

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.' 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. Importantly, Mirza International Limited (NSE:MIRZAINT) does carry debt. But should shareholders be worried about its use of debt?

When Is Debt A Problem?

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. If things get really bad, the lenders can take control of the business. 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. Having said that, the most common situation is where a company manages its debt reasonably well - and to its own advantage. The first thing to do when considering how much debt a business uses is to look at its cash and debt together.

Check out our latest analysis for Mirza International

What Is Mirza International's Net Debt?

The image below, which you can click on for greater detail, shows that Mirza International had debt of ₹777.5m at the end of March 2022, a reduction from ₹1.40b over a year. However, because it has a cash reserve of ₹218.0m, its net debt is less, at about ₹559.5m.

debt-equity-history-analysis
NSEI:MIRZAINT Debt to Equity History July 9th 2022

How Strong Is Mirza International's Balance Sheet?

We can see from the most recent balance sheet that Mirza International had liabilities of ₹3.88b falling due within a year, and liabilities of ₹2.75b due beyond that. Offsetting these obligations, it had cash of ₹218.0m as well as receivables valued at ₹1.55b due within 12 months. So its liabilities total ₹4.86b more than the combination of its cash and short-term receivables.

Given Mirza International has a market capitalization of ₹30.4b, it's hard to believe these liabilities pose much threat. However, we do think it is worth keeping an eye on its balance sheet strength, as it may change over time.

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). Thus we consider debt relative to earnings both with and without depreciation and amortization expenses.

While Mirza International's low debt to EBITDA ratio of 0.24 suggests only modest use of debt, the fact that EBIT only covered the interest expense by 6.5 times last year does give us pause. So we'd recommend keeping a close eye on the impact financing costs are having on the business. Even more impressive was the fact that Mirza International grew its EBIT by 233% over twelve months. That boost will make it even easier to pay down debt going forward. 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 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. Over the last three years, Mirza International actually produced more free cash flow than EBIT. That sort of strong cash generation warms our hearts like a puppy in a bumblebee suit.

Our View

Happily, Mirza International's impressive conversion of EBIT to free cash flow implies it has the upper hand on its debt. And the good news does not stop there, as its EBIT growth rate also supports that impression! Considering this range of factors, it seems to us that Mirza International is quite prudent with its debt, and the risks seem well managed. So we're not worried about the use of a little leverage on the balance sheet. The balance sheet is clearly the area to focus on when you are analysing debt. However, not all investment risk resides within the balance sheet - far from it. For example, we've discovered 2 warning signs for Mirza International (1 is significant!) that you should be aware of before investing here.

Of course, if you're the type of investor who prefers buying stocks without the burden of debt, then don't hesitate to discover our exclusive list of net cash growth stocks, today.

Valuation is complex, but we're helping make it simple.

Find out whether Mirza International is potentially over or undervalued by checking out our comprehensive analysis, which includes fair value estimates, risks and warnings, dividends, insider transactions and financial health.

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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.