Stock Analysis

Here's Why Wooree BioLtd (KOSDAQ:082850) Can Manage Its Debt Responsibly

KOSDAQ:A082850
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David Iben put it well when he said, 'Volatility is not a risk we care about. What we care about is avoiding the 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 can see that Wooree Bio Co.,Ltd (KOSDAQ:082850) does use debt in its business. But should shareholders be worried about its use of debt?

What Risk Does Debt Bring?

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.

Check out our latest analysis for Wooree BioLtd

What Is Wooree BioLtd's Debt?

As you can see below, Wooree BioLtd had ₩118.6b of debt at September 2020, down from ₩138.9b a year prior. However, it also had ₩84.6b in cash, and so its net debt is ₩34.0b.

debt-equity-history-analysis
KOSDAQ:A082850 Debt to Equity History February 2nd 2021

How Strong Is Wooree BioLtd's Balance Sheet?

Zooming in on the latest balance sheet data, we can see that Wooree BioLtd had liabilities of ₩534.4b due within 12 months and liabilities of ₩37.1b due beyond that. Offsetting this, it had ₩84.6b in cash and ₩303.5b in receivables that were due within 12 months. So its liabilities outweigh the sum of its cash and (near-term) receivables by ₩183.4b.

This is a mountain of leverage relative to its market capitalization of ₩226.6b. Should its lenders demand that it shore up the balance sheet, shareholders would likely face severe dilution.

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). Thus we consider debt relative to earnings both with and without depreciation and amortization expenses.

While Wooree BioLtd's low debt to EBITDA ratio of 0.40 suggests only modest use of debt, the fact that EBIT only covered the interest expense by 5.7 times last year does give us pause. So we'd recommend keeping a close eye on the impact financing costs are having on the business. Pleasingly, Wooree BioLtd is growing its EBIT faster than former Australian PM Bob Hawke downs a yard glass, boasting a 143% gain in the last twelve months. There's no doubt that we learn most about debt from the balance sheet. But you can't view debt in total isolation; since Wooree BioLtd 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 the logical step is to look at the proportion of that EBIT that is matched by actual free cash flow. Over the last two years, Wooree BioLtd actually produced more free cash flow than EBIT. There's nothing better than incoming cash when it comes to staying in your lenders' good graces.

Our View

Wooree BioLtd's conversion of EBIT to free cash flow suggests it can handle its debt as easily as Cristiano Ronaldo could score a goal against an under 14's goalkeeper. But truth be told we feel its level of total liabilities does undermine this impression a bit. Taking all this data into account, it seems to us that Wooree BioLtd takes a pretty sensible approach to debt. While that brings some risk, it can also enhance returns for shareholders. There's no doubt that we learn most about debt from the balance sheet. But ultimately, every company can contain risks that exist outside of the balance sheet. For instance, we've identified 2 warning signs for Wooree BioLtd that you should be aware of.

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.

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