These 4 Measures Indicate That Ganesh Housing (NSE:GANESHHOUC) Is Using Debt Reasonably Well

By
Simply Wall St
Published
October 20, 2021
NSEI:GANESHHOUC
Source: Shutterstock

Warren Buffett famously said, 'Volatility is far from synonymous with risk.' When we think about how risky a company is, we always like to look at its use of debt, since debt overload can lead to ruin. As with many other companies Ganesh Housing Corporation Limited (NSE:GANESHHOUC) makes use of debt. But is this debt a concern to shareholders?

Why Does Debt Bring Risk?

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. Ultimately, if the company can't fulfill its legal obligations to repay debt, shareholders could walk away with nothing. However, a more usual (but still expensive) situation is where a company must dilute shareholders at a cheap share price simply to get debt under control. 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.

See our latest analysis for Ganesh Housing

What Is Ganesh Housing's Debt?

As you can see below, Ganesh Housing had ₹2.29b of debt at September 2021, down from ₹5.39b a year prior. However, because it has a cash reserve of ₹252.8m, its net debt is less, at about ₹2.03b.

debt-equity-history-analysis
NSEI:GANESHHOUC Debt to Equity History October 21st 2021

How Healthy Is Ganesh Housing's Balance Sheet?

We can see from the most recent balance sheet that Ganesh Housing had liabilities of ₹3.12b falling due within a year, and liabilities of ₹715.5m due beyond that. On the other hand, it had cash of ₹252.8m and ₹3.70b worth of receivables due within a year. So it can boast ₹116.1m more liquid assets than total liabilities.

This state of affairs indicates that Ganesh Housing's balance sheet looks quite solid, as its total liabilities are just about equal to its liquid assets. So it's very unlikely that the ₹10.0b company is short on cash, but still worth keeping an eye on the balance sheet.

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). 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).

While we wouldn't worry about Ganesh Housing's net debt to EBITDA ratio of 4.0, we think its super-low interest cover of 1.0 times is a sign of high leverage. So shareholders should probably be aware that interest expenses appear to have really impacted the business lately. One redeeming factor for Ganesh Housing is that it turned last year's EBIT loss into a gain of ₹491m, over the last twelve months. When analysing debt levels, the balance sheet is the obvious place to start. But you can't view debt in total isolation; since Ganesh Housing 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.

Finally, a company can only pay off debt with cold hard cash, not accounting profits. So it's worth checking how much of the earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) is backed by free cash flow. Over the last year, Ganesh Housing recorded free cash flow worth a fulsome 92% of its EBIT, which is stronger than we'd usually expect. That positions it well to pay down debt if desirable to do so.

Our View

Based on what we've seen Ganesh Housing is not finding it easy, given its interest cover, but the other factors we considered give us cause to be optimistic. There's no doubt that its ability to to convert EBIT to free cash flow is pretty flash. Considering this range of data points, we think Ganesh Housing is in a good position to manage its debt levels. Having said that, the load is sufficiently heavy that we would recommend any shareholders keep a close eye on it. 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. For instance, we've identified 3 warning signs for Ganesh Housing (1 is significant) you should be aware of.

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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