Is Avillion Berhad (KLSE:AVI) Weighed On By Its Debt Load?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
March 15, 2022
KLSE:AVI
Source: Shutterstock

The external fund manager backed by Berkshire Hathaway's Charlie Munger, Li Lu, makes no bones about it when he says 'The biggest investment risk is not the volatility of prices, but whether you will suffer a permanent loss of capital.' 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. As with many other companies Avillion Berhad (KLSE:AVI) makes use of debt. But the real question is whether this debt is making the company risky.

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 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. Having said that, the most common situation is where a company manages its debt reasonably well - and to its own advantage. When we examine debt levels, we first consider both cash and debt levels, together.

Check out our latest analysis for Avillion Berhad

What Is Avillion Berhad's Debt?

You can click the graphic below for the historical numbers, but it shows that Avillion Berhad had RM83.5m of debt in December 2021, down from RM97.4m, one year before. On the flip side, it has RM6.30m in cash leading to net debt of about RM77.2m.

debt-equity-history-analysis
KLSE:AVI Debt to Equity History March 15th 2022

How Healthy Is Avillion Berhad's Balance Sheet?

Zooming in on the latest balance sheet data, we can see that Avillion Berhad had liabilities of RM58.8m due within 12 months and liabilities of RM91.3m due beyond that. On the other hand, it had cash of RM6.30m and RM5.34m worth of receivables due within a year. So it has liabilities totalling RM138.5m more than its cash and near-term receivables, combined.

When you consider that this deficiency exceeds the company's RM113.3m market capitalization, you might well be inclined to review the balance sheet intently. Hypothetically, extremely heavy dilution would be required if the company were forced to pay down its liabilities by raising capital at the current share price. The balance sheet is clearly the area to focus on when you are analysing debt. But it is Avillion Berhad's earnings that will influence how the balance sheet holds up in the future. So if you're keen to discover more about its earnings, it might be worth checking out this graph of its long term earnings trend.

Over 12 months, Avillion Berhad made a loss at the EBIT level, and saw its revenue drop to RM23m, which is a fall of 22%. That makes us nervous, to say the least.

Caveat Emptor

Not only did Avillion Berhad's revenue slip over the last twelve months, but it also produced negative earnings before interest and tax (EBIT). Indeed, it lost RM9.6m at the EBIT level. Considering that alongside the liabilities mentioned above make us nervous about the company. We'd want to see some strong near-term improvements before getting too interested in the stock. Not least because it had negative free cash flow of RM4.5m over the last twelve months. So suffice it to say we consider the stock to be risky. The balance sheet is clearly the area to focus on when you are analysing debt. However, not all investment risk resides within the balance sheet - far from it. Case in point: We've spotted 2 warning signs for Avillion Berhad you should be aware of.

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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