Stock Analysis

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

NSEI:MHHL
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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 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 note that Mohini Health & Hygiene Limited (NSE:MHHL) does have debt on its balance sheet. But should shareholders be worried about its use of debt?

Why Does Debt Bring Risk?

Debt assists a business until the business has trouble paying it off, either with new capital or with free cash flow. 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 thing to do when considering how much debt a business uses is to look at its cash and debt together.

View our latest analysis for Mohini Health & Hygiene

What Is Mohini Health & Hygiene's Debt?

The image below, which you can click on for greater detail, shows that Mohini Health & Hygiene had debt of ₹279.6m at the end of March 2023, a reduction from ₹437.8m over a year. Net debt is about the same, since the it doesn't have much cash.

debt-equity-history-analysis
NSEI:MHHL Debt to Equity History August 23rd 2023

How Healthy Is Mohini Health & Hygiene's Balance Sheet?

According to the last reported balance sheet, Mohini Health & Hygiene had liabilities of ₹355.1m due within 12 months, and liabilities of ₹132.0m due beyond 12 months. Offsetting this, it had ₹1.80m in cash and ₹352.7m in receivables that were due within 12 months. So its liabilities outweigh the sum of its cash and (near-term) receivables by ₹132.6m.

Of course, Mohini Health & Hygiene has a market capitalization of ₹1.36b, so these liabilities are probably manageable. However, we do think it is worth keeping an eye on its balance sheet strength, as it may change over time.

In order to size up a company's debt relative to its earnings, we calculate its net debt divided by its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) and its earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) divided by its interest expense (its interest cover). The advantage of this approach is that we take into account both the absolute quantum of debt (with net debt to EBITDA) and the actual interest expenses associated with that debt (with its interest cover ratio).

Looking at its net debt to EBITDA of 1.5 and interest cover of 3.6 times, it seems to us that Mohini Health & Hygiene is probably using debt in a pretty reasonable way. So we'd recommend keeping a close eye on the impact financing costs are having on the business. We note that Mohini Health & Hygiene grew its EBIT by 23% 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 it is Mohini Health & Hygiene'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.

But our final consideration is also important, because a company cannot pay debt with paper profits; it needs cold hard cash. So it's worth checking how much of that EBIT is backed by free cash flow. Over the last three years, Mohini Health & Hygiene reported free cash flow worth 8.2% of its EBIT, which is really quite low. For us, cash conversion that low sparks a little paranoia about is ability to extinguish debt.

Our View

When it comes to the balance sheet, the standout positive for Mohini Health & Hygiene was the fact that it seems able to grow its EBIT confidently. But the other factors we noted above weren't so encouraging. For example, its conversion of EBIT to free cash flow makes us a little nervous about its debt. It's also worth noting that Mohini Health & Hygiene is in the Medical Equipment industry, which is often considered to be quite defensive. When we consider all the elements mentioned above, it seems to us that Mohini Health & Hygiene is managing its debt quite well. Having said that, the load is sufficiently heavy that we would recommend any shareholders keep a close eye on it. The balance sheet is clearly the area to focus on when you are analysing debt. However, not all investment risk resides within the balance sheet - far from it. These risks can be hard to spot. Every company has them, and we've spotted 2 warning signs for Mohini Health & Hygiene (of which 1 shouldn't be ignored!) you should know about.

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 Mohini Health & Hygiene 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.