Stock Analysis

Is Warisan TC Holdings Berhad (KLSE:WARISAN) Using Debt In A Risky Way?

KLSE:WARISAN
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Legendary fund manager Li Lu (who Charlie Munger backed) once said, 'The biggest investment risk is not the volatility of prices, but whether you will suffer a permanent loss of capital.' 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. We note that Warisan TC Holdings Berhad (KLSE:WARISAN) does have debt on its balance sheet. But the real question is whether this debt is making the company risky.

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. If things get really bad, the lenders can take control of the business. 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.

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How Much Debt Does Warisan TC Holdings Berhad Carry?

The chart below, which you can click on for greater detail, shows that Warisan TC Holdings Berhad had RM212.1m in debt in September 2022; about the same as the year before. However, it does have RM79.6m in cash offsetting this, leading to net debt of about RM132.5m.

debt-equity-history-analysis
KLSE:WARISAN Debt to Equity History November 30th 2022

How Strong Is Warisan TC Holdings Berhad's Balance Sheet?

The latest balance sheet data shows that Warisan TC Holdings Berhad had liabilities of RM374.1m due within a year, and liabilities of RM33.1m falling due after that. Offsetting these obligations, it had cash of RM79.6m as well as receivables valued at RM146.1m due within 12 months. So its liabilities total RM181.5m more than the combination of its cash and short-term receivables.

This deficit casts a shadow over the RM68.4m company, like a colossus towering over mere mortals. So we definitely think shareholders need to watch this one closely. After all, Warisan TC Holdings Berhad would likely require a major re-capitalisation if it had to pay its creditors today. When analysing debt levels, the balance sheet is the obvious place to start. But it is Warisan TC Holdings Berhad's earnings that will influence how the balance sheet holds up in the future. So when considering debt, it's definitely worth looking at the earnings trend. Click here for an interactive snapshot.

Over 12 months, Warisan TC Holdings Berhad reported revenue of RM483m, which is a gain of 44%, although it did not report any earnings before interest and tax. With any luck the company will be able to grow its way to profitability.

Caveat Emptor

Even though Warisan TC Holdings Berhad managed to grow its top line quite deftly, the cold hard truth is that it is losing money on the EBIT line. Indeed, it lost a very considerable RM7.5m at the EBIT level. Combining this information with the significant liabilities we already touched on makes us very hesitant about this stock, to say the least. Of course, it may be able to improve its situation with a bit of luck and good execution. But we think that is unlikely, given it is low on liquid assets, and burned through RM4.6m in the last year. So we consider this a high risk stock and we wouldn't be at all surprised if the company asks shareholders for money before long. There's no doubt that we learn most about debt from the balance sheet. However, not all investment risk resides within the balance sheet - far from it. Be aware that Warisan TC Holdings Berhad is showing 3 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 2 of those are potentially serious...

At the end of the day, it's often better to focus on companies that are free from net debt. You can access our special list of such companies (all with a track record of profit growth). It's free.

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Find out whether Warisan TC Holdings Berhad 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.