Here's Why Emmbi Industries (NSE:EMMBI) Has A Meaningful Debt Burden

By
Simply Wall St
Published
January 14, 2022
NSEI:EMMBI
Source: Shutterstock

Some say volatility, rather than debt, is the best way to think about risk as an investor, but Warren Buffett famously said that 'Volatility is far from synonymous with risk.' 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, Emmbi Industries Limited (NSE:EMMBI) does carry debt. But is this debt a concern to shareholders?

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. Part and parcel of capitalism is the process of 'creative destruction' where failed businesses are mercilessly liquidated by their bankers. 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, debt can be an important tool in businesses, particularly capital heavy businesses. When we examine debt levels, we first consider both cash and debt levels, together.

View our latest analysis for Emmbi Industries

What Is Emmbi Industries's Debt?

The image below, which you can click on for greater detail, shows that at September 2021 Emmbi Industries had debt of ₹1.45b, up from ₹1.24b in one year. And it doesn't have much cash, so its net debt is about the same.

debt-equity-history-analysis
NSEI:EMMBI Debt to Equity History January 14th 2022

A Look At Emmbi Industries' Liabilities

We can see from the most recent balance sheet that Emmbi Industries had liabilities of ₹1.26b falling due within a year, and liabilities of ₹791.2m due beyond that. Offsetting these obligations, it had cash of ₹10.4m as well as receivables valued at ₹737.7m due within 12 months. So its liabilities outweigh the sum of its cash and (near-term) receivables by ₹1.30b.

This is a mountain of leverage relative to its market capitalization of ₹2.05b. This suggests shareholders would be heavily diluted if the company needed to shore up its balance sheet in a hurry.

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).

Emmbi Industries has a debt to EBITDA ratio of 3.9 and its EBIT covered its interest expense 2.8 times. Taken together this implies that, while we wouldn't want to see debt levels rise, we think it can handle its current leverage. The good news is that Emmbi Industries grew its EBIT a smooth 44% over the last twelve months. Like the milk of human kindness that sort of growth increases resilience, making the company more capable of managing debt. There's no doubt that we learn most about debt from the balance sheet. But you can't view debt in total isolation; since Emmbi Industries will need earnings to service that debt. So when considering debt, it's definitely worth looking at the earnings trend. Click here for an interactive snapshot.

But our final consideration is also important, because a company cannot pay debt with paper profits; it needs cold hard cash. So we always check how much of that EBIT is translated into free cash flow. Over the last three years, Emmbi Industries recorded negative free cash flow, in total. Debt is usually more expensive, and almost always more risky in the hands of a company with negative free cash flow. Shareholders ought to hope for an improvement.

Our View

Emmbi Industries's conversion of EBIT to free cash flow and interest cover definitely weigh on it, in our esteem. But its EBIT growth rate tells a very different story, and suggests some resilience. Taking the abovementioned factors together we do think Emmbi Industries's debt poses some risks to the business. 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. But ultimately, every company can contain risks that exist outside of the balance sheet. To that end, you should learn about the 4 warning signs we've spotted with Emmbi Industries (including 2 which can't be ignored) .

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.

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