Stock Analysis

Does Mohini Health & Hygiene (NSE:MHHL) Have A Healthy Balance Sheet?

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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. As with many other companies Mohini Health & Hygiene Limited (NSE:MHHL) makes use of debt. But the more important question is: how much risk is that debt creating?

When Is Debt Dangerous?

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 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. When we examine debt levels, we first consider both cash and debt levels, together.

Check out our latest analysis for Mohini Health & Hygiene

What Is Mohini Health & Hygiene's Net Debt?

The image below, which you can click on for greater detail, shows that Mohini Health & Hygiene had debt of ₹288.0m at the end of September 2022, a reduction from ₹402.2m over a year. However, it also had ₹13.2m in cash, and so its net debt is ₹274.8m.

NSEI:MHHL Debt to Equity History January 18th 2023

A Look At Mohini Health & Hygiene's Liabilities

Zooming in on the latest balance sheet data, we can see that Mohini Health & Hygiene had liabilities of ₹367.3m due within 12 months and liabilities of ₹147.4m due beyond that. Offsetting this, it had ₹13.2m in cash and ₹355.8m in receivables that were due within 12 months. So its liabilities total ₹145.7m more than the combination of its cash and short-term receivables.

Given Mohini Health & Hygiene has a market capitalization of ₹875.3m, 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). This way, we consider both the absolute quantum of the debt, as well as the interest rates paid on it.

While Mohini Health & Hygiene's low debt to EBITDA ratio of 1.5 suggests only modest use of debt, the fact that EBIT only covered the interest expense by 4.7 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. It is well worth noting that Mohini Health & Hygiene's EBIT shot up like bamboo after rain, gaining 47% in the last twelve months. That'll make it easier to manage its debt. When analysing debt levels, the balance sheet is the obvious place to start. But it is Mohini Health & Hygiene's earnings that will influence how the balance sheet holds up in the future. So when considering debt, it's definitely worth looking at the earnings trend. Click here for an interactive snapshot.

Finally, a company can only pay off debt with cold hard cash, not accounting profits. So we clearly need to look at whether that EBIT is leading to corresponding free cash flow. During the last three years, Mohini Health & Hygiene produced sturdy free cash flow equating to 55% of its EBIT, about what we'd expect. This free cash flow puts the company in a good position to pay down debt, when appropriate.

Our View

Happily, Mohini Health & Hygiene's impressive EBIT growth rate implies it has the upper hand on its debt. And its conversion of EBIT to free cash flow is good too. We would also note that Medical Equipment industry companies like Mohini Health & Hygiene commonly do use debt without problems. Taking all this data into account, it seems to us that Mohini Health & Hygiene takes a pretty sensible approach to debt. That means they are taking on a bit more risk, in the hope of boosting shareholder returns. There's no doubt that we learn most about debt from the balance sheet. But ultimately, every company can contain risks that exist outside of the balance sheet. Case in point: We've spotted 2 warning signs for Mohini Health & Hygiene you should be aware of, and 1 of them is concerning.

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.

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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.