Is Sarveshwar Foods (NSE:SARVESHWAR) A Risky Investment?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
November 23, 2021
NSEI:SARVESHWAR
Source: Shutterstock

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.' 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. We can see that Sarveshwar Foods Limited (NSE:SARVESHWAR) does use debt in its business. But should shareholders be worried about its use of debt?

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. 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. By replacing dilution, though, debt can be an extremely good tool for businesses that need capital to invest in growth at high rates of return. When we examine debt levels, we first consider both cash and debt levels, together.

Check out our latest analysis for Sarveshwar Foods

What Is Sarveshwar Foods's Net Debt?

As you can see below, at the end of September 2021, Sarveshwar Foods had ₹2.61b of debt, up from ₹2.50b a year ago. Click the image for more detail. Net debt is about the same, since the it doesn't have much cash.

debt-equity-history-analysis
NSEI:SARVESHWAR Debt to Equity History November 24th 2021

A Look At Sarveshwar Foods' Liabilities

We can see from the most recent balance sheet that Sarveshwar Foods had liabilities of ₹2.74b falling due within a year, and liabilities of ₹369.0m due beyond that. On the other hand, it had cash of ₹8.21m and ₹2.00b worth of receivables due within a year. So its liabilities total ₹1.10b more than the combination of its cash and short-term receivables.

The deficiency here weighs heavily on the ₹563.8m company itself, as if a child were struggling under the weight of an enormous back-pack full of books, his sports gear, and a trumpet. So we'd watch its balance sheet closely, without a doubt. After all, Sarveshwar Foods would likely require a major re-capitalisation if it had to pay its creditors today.

We measure a company's debt load relative to its earnings power by looking at its net debt divided by its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) and by calculating how easily its earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) cover its interest expense (interest cover). This way, we consider both the absolute quantum of the debt, as well as the interest rates paid on it.

Sarveshwar Foods shareholders face the double whammy of a high net debt to EBITDA ratio (10.5), and fairly weak interest coverage, since EBIT is just 1.4 times the interest expense. The debt burden here is substantial. Looking on the bright side, Sarveshwar Foods boosted its EBIT by a silky 62% in the last year. Like a mother's loving embrace of a newborn that sort of growth builds resilience, putting the company in a stronger position to manage its debt. The balance sheet is clearly the area to focus on when you are analysing debt. But it is Sarveshwar Foods's earnings that will influence how the balance sheet holds up in the future. 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 it's worth checking how much of that EBIT is backed by free cash flow. In the last three years, Sarveshwar Foods created free cash flow amounting to 15% of its EBIT, an uninspiring performance. For us, cash conversion that low sparks a little paranoia about is ability to extinguish debt.

Our View

On the face of it, Sarveshwar Foods's net debt to EBITDA left us tentative about the stock, and its level of total liabilities was no more enticing than the one empty restaurant on the busiest night of the year. But at least it's pretty decent at growing its EBIT; that's encouraging. Overall, it seems to us that Sarveshwar Foods's balance sheet is really quite a risk to the business. For this reason we're pretty cautious about the stock, and we think shareholders should keep a close eye on its liquidity. The balance sheet is clearly the area to focus on when you are analysing debt. But ultimately, every company can contain risks that exist outside of the balance sheet. To that end, you should learn about the 5 warning signs we've spotted with Sarveshwar Foods (including 3 which are potentially serious) .

If, after all that, you're more interested in a fast growing company with a rock-solid balance sheet, then check out our list of net cash growth stocks without delay.

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.

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

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Simply Wall St

Simply Wall St is focused on providing unbiased, high-quality research coverage on every listed company in the world. Our research team consists of data scientists and multiple equity analysts with over two decades worth of financial markets experience between them.