Is Dong Yang Steel Pipe (KRX:008970) Using Too Much Debt?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
March 09, 2021
KOSE:A008970
Source: Shutterstock

Howard Marks put it nicely when he said that, rather than worrying about share price volatility, 'The possibility of permanent loss is the risk I worry about... and every practical investor I know worries about.' It's only natural to consider a company's balance sheet when you examine how risky it is, since debt is often involved when a business collapses. We note that Dong Yang Steel Pipe Co., Ltd. (KRX:008970) does have debt on its balance sheet. But should shareholders be worried about its use of debt?

Why Does Debt Bring Risk?

Generally speaking, debt only becomes a real problem when a company can't easily pay it off, either by raising capital or with its own cash flow. Part and parcel of capitalism is the process of 'creative destruction' where failed businesses are mercilessly liquidated by their bankers. While that is not too common, we often do see indebted companies permanently diluting shareholders because lenders force them to raise capital at a distressed price. By replacing dilution, though, debt can be an extremely good tool for businesses that need capital to invest in growth at high rates of return. When we think about a company's use of debt, we first look at cash and debt together.

View our latest analysis for Dong Yang Steel Pipe

What Is Dong Yang Steel Pipe's Debt?

As you can see below, Dong Yang Steel Pipe had ₩32.6b of debt at September 2020, down from ₩41.0b a year prior. However, it does have ₩21.5b in cash offsetting this, leading to net debt of about ₩11.1b.

debt-equity-history-analysis
KOSE:A008970 Debt to Equity History March 9th 2021

A Look At Dong Yang Steel Pipe's Liabilities

Zooming in on the latest balance sheet data, we can see that Dong Yang Steel Pipe had liabilities of ₩70.8b due within 12 months and liabilities of ₩9.51b due beyond that. Offsetting this, it had ₩21.5b in cash and ₩29.8b in receivables that were due within 12 months. So its liabilities total ₩29.0b more than the combination of its cash and short-term receivables.

Of course, Dong Yang Steel Pipe has a market capitalization of ₩153.3b, so these liabilities are probably manageable. Having said that, it's clear that we should continue to monitor its balance sheet, lest it change for the worse.

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.

Dong Yang Steel Pipe has net debt of just 0.69 times EBITDA, indicating that it is certainly not a reckless borrower. And this view is supported by the solid interest coverage, with EBIT coming in at 8.1 times the interest expense over the last year. Although Dong Yang Steel Pipe made a loss at the EBIT level, last year, it was also good to see that it generated ₩9.3b in EBIT over the last twelve months. The balance sheet is clearly the area to focus on when you are analysing debt. But you can't view debt in total isolation; since Dong Yang Steel Pipe 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 is important to check how much of its earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) converts to actual free cash flow. Over the last year, Dong Yang Steel Pipe actually produced more free cash flow than EBIT. That sort of strong cash conversion gets us as excited as the crowd when the beat drops at a Daft Punk concert.

Our View

The good news is that Dong Yang Steel Pipe's demonstrated ability to convert EBIT to free cash flow delights us like a fluffy puppy does a toddler. And that's just the beginning of the good news since its net debt to EBITDA is also very heartening. When we consider the range of factors above, it looks like Dong Yang Steel Pipe is pretty sensible with its use of debt. While that brings some risk, it can also enhance returns for shareholders. Above most other metrics, we think its important to track how fast earnings per share is growing, if at all. If you've also come to that realization, you're in luck, because today you can view this interactive graph of Dong Yang Steel Pipe's earnings per share history for free.

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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