Stock Analysis

Mohini Health & Hygiene (NSE:MHHL) Has A Somewhat Strained 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 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. Importantly, Mohini Health & Hygiene Limited (NSE:MHHL) does carry debt. But the more important question is: how much risk is that debt creating?

What Risk Does Debt Bring?

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 frequent (but still costly) occurrence is where a company must issue shares at bargain-basement prices, permanently diluting shareholders, just to shore up its balance sheet. Of course, plenty of companies use debt to fund growth, without any negative consequences. When we examine debt levels, we first consider both cash and debt levels, together.

See 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 at September 2021 Mohini Health & Hygiene had debt of ₹402.2m, up from ₹349.2m in one year. On the flip side, it has ₹12.4m in cash leading to net debt of about ₹389.8m.

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NSEI:MHHL Debt to Equity History January 1st 2022

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

Zooming in on the latest balance sheet data, we can see that Mohini Health & Hygiene had liabilities of ₹614.5m due within 12 months and liabilities of ₹127.4m due beyond that. Offsetting these obligations, it had cash of ₹12.4m as well as receivables valued at ₹465.1m due within 12 months. So its liabilities total ₹264.4m more than the combination of its cash and short-term receivables.

While this might seem like a lot, it is not so bad since Mohini Health & Hygiene has a market capitalization of ₹606.3m, and so it could probably strengthen its balance sheet by raising capital if it needed to. But we definitely want to keep our eyes open to indications that its debt is bringing too much risk.

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). 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).

Mohini Health & Hygiene's debt is 2.6 times its EBITDA, and its EBIT cover its interest expense 3.0 times over. This suggests that while the debt levels are significant, we'd stop short of calling them problematic. Investors should also be troubled by the fact that Mohini Health & Hygiene saw its EBIT drop by 17% over the last twelve months. If things keep going like that, handling the debt will about as easy as bundling an angry house cat into its travel box. There's no doubt that we learn most about debt from the balance sheet. 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.

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 64% of its EBIT, about what we'd expect. This cold hard cash means it can reduce its debt when it wants to.

Our View

Mohini Health & Hygiene's struggle to grow its EBIT had us second guessing its balance sheet strength, but the other data-points we considered were relatively redeeming. But on the bright side, its ability to to convert EBIT to free cash flow isn't too shabby at all. We should also note that Medical Equipment industry companies like Mohini Health & Hygiene commonly do use debt without problems. When we consider all the factors discussed, it seems to us that Mohini Health & Hygiene is taking some risks with its use of debt. So while that leverage does boost returns on equity, we wouldn't really want to see it increase from here. 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. Be aware that Mohini Health & Hygiene is showing 5 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 3 of those are potentially serious...

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.