Stock Analysis

Does EIH (NSE:EIHOTEL) Have A Healthy Balance Sheet?

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Howard Marks put it nicely when he said that, rather than worrying about share price volatility, 'The possibility of permanent loss is the risk I worry about... and every practical investor I know worries about.' 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 EIH Limited (NSE:EIHOTEL) makes use of debt. But the real question is whether this debt is making the company risky.

What Risk Does Debt Bring?

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. Ultimately, if the company can't fulfill its legal obligations to repay debt, shareholders could walk away with nothing. However, a more common (but still painful) scenario is that it has to raise new equity capital at a low price, thus permanently diluting shareholders. Having said that, the most common situation is where a company manages its debt reasonably well - and to its own advantage. The first step when considering a company's debt levels is to consider its cash and debt together.

Check out our latest analysis for EIH

What Is EIH's Debt?

The image below, which you can click on for greater detail, shows that EIH had debt of ₹4.21b at the end of September 2021, a reduction from ₹6.09b over a year. However, it also had ₹2.56b in cash, and so its net debt is ₹1.65b.

NSEI:EIHOTEL Debt to Equity History November 16th 2021

How Strong Is EIH's Balance Sheet?

According to the last reported balance sheet, EIH had liabilities of ₹5.33b due within 12 months, and liabilities of ₹4.80b due beyond 12 months. On the other hand, it had cash of ₹2.56b and ₹710.0m worth of receivables due within a year. So it has liabilities totalling ₹6.87b more than its cash and near-term receivables, combined.

Since publicly traded EIH shares are worth a total of ₹90.7b, it seems unlikely that this level of liabilities would be a major threat. But there are sufficient liabilities that we would certainly recommend shareholders continue to monitor the balance sheet, going forward. The balance sheet is clearly the area to focus on when you are analysing debt. But it is future earnings, more than anything, that will determine EIH's ability to maintain a healthy balance sheet going forward. So if you want to see what the professionals think, you might find this free report on analyst profit forecasts to be interesting.

Over 12 months, EIH made a loss at the EBIT level, and saw its revenue drop to ₹7.6b, which is a fall of 26%. That makes us nervous, to say the least.

Caveat Emptor

Not only did EIH's revenue slip over the last twelve months, but it also produced negative earnings before interest and tax (EBIT). Indeed, it lost ₹2.4b at the EBIT level. When we look at that and recall the liabilities on its balance sheet, relative to cash, it seems unwise to us for the company to have any debt. Quite frankly we think the balance sheet is far from match-fit, although it could be improved with time. Another cause for caution is that is bled ₹1.5b in negative free cash flow over the last twelve months. So suffice it to say we do consider the stock to be risky. 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. For instance, we've identified 3 warning signs for EIH (2 shouldn't be ignored) you should be aware of.

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.

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

Find out whether EIH 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.

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