Stock Analysis

Is Aegis Logistics (NSE:AEGISCHEM) Using Too Much Debt?

NSEI:AEGISLOG
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Legendary fund manager Li Lu (who Charlie Munger backed) once said, 'The biggest investment risk is not the volatility of prices, but whether you will suffer a permanent loss of capital.' It's only natural to consider a company's balance sheet when you examine how risky it is, since debt is often involved when a business collapses. We can see that Aegis Logistics Limited (NSE:AEGISCHEM) does use debt in its business. But the more important question is: how much risk is that debt creating?

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. In the worst case scenario, a company can go bankrupt if it cannot pay its creditors. While that is not too common, we often do see indebted companies permanently diluting shareholders because lenders force them to raise capital at a distressed price. Of course, debt can be an important tool in businesses, particularly capital heavy businesses. When we think about a company's use of debt, we first look at cash and debt together.

View our latest analysis for Aegis Logistics

What Is Aegis Logistics's Debt?

As you can see below, at the end of March 2023, Aegis Logistics had ₹9.95b of debt, up from ₹3.83b a year ago. Click the image for more detail. But on the other hand it also has ₹14.0b in cash, leading to a ₹4.06b net cash position.

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NSEI:AEGISCHEM Debt to Equity History July 25th 2023

A Look At Aegis Logistics' Liabilities

The latest balance sheet data shows that Aegis Logistics had liabilities of ₹11.3b due within a year, and liabilities of ₹19.8b falling due after that. Offsetting this, it had ₹14.0b in cash and ₹9.81b in receivables that were due within 12 months. So it has liabilities totalling ₹7.33b more than its cash and near-term receivables, combined.

Of course, Aegis Logistics has a market capitalization of ₹129.2b, so these liabilities are probably manageable. Having said that, it's clear that we should continue to monitor its balance sheet, lest it change for the worse. Despite its noteworthy liabilities, Aegis Logistics boasts net cash, so it's fair to say it does not have a heavy debt load!

Also positive, Aegis Logistics grew its EBIT by 21% 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 ultimately the future profitability of the business will decide if Aegis Logistics can strengthen its balance sheet over time. So if you want to see what the professionals think, you might find this free report on analyst profit forecasts to be interesting.

But our final consideration is also important, because a company cannot pay debt with paper profits; it needs cold hard cash. While Aegis Logistics has net cash on its balance sheet, it's still worth taking a look at its ability to convert earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) to free cash flow, to help us understand how quickly it is building (or eroding) that cash balance. Considering the last three years, Aegis Logistics actually recorded a cash outflow, overall. Debt is far more risky for companies with unreliable free cash flow, so shareholders should be hoping that the past expenditure will produce free cash flow in the future.

Summing Up

While it is always sensible to look at a company's total liabilities, it is very reassuring that Aegis Logistics has ₹4.06b in net cash. And it impressed us with its EBIT growth of 21% over the last year. So we don't have any problem with Aegis Logistics's use of debt. When analysing debt levels, the balance sheet is the obvious place to start. However, not all investment risk resides within the balance sheet - far from it. To that end, you should learn about the 3 warning signs we've spotted with Aegis Logistics (including 1 which is concerning) .

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.

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

Find out whether Aegis Logistics 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.