Stock Analysis

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

NSEI:EIHOTEL
Source: Shutterstock

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 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. We can see that EIH Limited (NSE:EIHOTEL) does use debt in its business. But the real question is whether this debt is making the company risky.

When Is Debt Dangerous?

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 common (but still painful) scenario is that it has to raise new equity capital at a low price, thus permanently diluting shareholders. Of course, debt can be an important tool in businesses, particularly capital heavy businesses. When we examine debt levels, we first consider both cash and debt levels, together.

Check out our latest analysis for EIH

How Much Debt Does EIH Carry?

The image below, which you can click on for greater detail, shows that EIH had debt of ₹5.90b at the end of September 2021, a reduction from ₹7.74b over a year. On the flip side, it has ₹2.56b in cash leading to net debt of about ₹3.34b.

debt-equity-history-analysis
NSEI:EIHOTEL Debt to Equity History March 4th 2022

A Look At EIH's Liabilities

We can see from the most recent balance sheet that EIH had liabilities of ₹5.33b falling due within a year, and liabilities of ₹4.80b due beyond that. On the other hand, it had cash of ₹2.56b and ₹710.0m worth of receivables due within a year. So its liabilities total ₹6.87b more than the combination of its cash and short-term receivables.

Since publicly traded EIH shares are worth a total of ₹83.1b, it seems unlikely that this level of liabilities would be a major threat. However, we do think it is worth keeping an eye on its balance sheet strength, as it may change over time. There's no doubt that we learn most about debt from the balance sheet. But ultimately the future profitability of the business will decide if EIH can strengthen its balance sheet over time. So if you're focused on the future you can check out this free report showing analyst profit forecasts.

Over 12 months, EIH reported revenue of ₹9.5b, which is a gain of 36%, although it did not report any earnings before interest and tax. Shareholders probably have their fingers crossed that it can grow its way to profits.

Caveat Emptor

Despite the top line growth, EIH still had an earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) loss over the last year. To be specific the EBIT loss came in at ₹1.3b. 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. So we think its balance sheet is a little strained, though not beyond repair. 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 we look at a riskier company, we like to check how their profits (or losses) are trending over time. Today, we're providing readers this interactive graph showing how EIH's profit, revenue, and operating cashflow have changed over the last few years.

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 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.

View the Free Analysis

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

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.