Here's Why IOI Corporation Berhad (KLSE:IOICORP) Can Manage Its Debt Responsibly

By
Simply Wall St
Published
February 20, 2022
KLSE:IOICORP
Source: Shutterstock

Warren Buffett famously said, 'Volatility is far from synonymous with risk.' 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 can see that IOI Corporation Berhad (KLSE:IOICORP) does use debt in its business. But should shareholders be worried about its use of debt?

What Risk Does Debt Bring?

Debt assists a business until the business has trouble paying it off, either with new capital or with free cash flow. Part and parcel of capitalism is the process of 'creative destruction' where failed businesses are mercilessly liquidated by their bankers. 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. Of course, the upside of debt is that it often represents cheap capital, especially when it replaces dilution in a company with the ability to reinvest at high rates of return. The first thing to do when considering how much debt a business uses is to look at its cash and debt together.

See our latest analysis for IOI Corporation Berhad

What Is IOI Corporation Berhad's Net Debt?

The chart below, which you can click on for greater detail, shows that IOI Corporation Berhad had RM4.72b in debt in September 2021; about the same as the year before. On the flip side, it has RM2.20b in cash leading to net debt of about RM2.51b.

debt-equity-history-analysis
KLSE:IOICORP Debt to Equity History February 20th 2022

A Look At IOI Corporation Berhad's Liabilities

The latest balance sheet data shows that IOI Corporation Berhad had liabilities of RM5.07b due within a year, and liabilities of RM2.33b falling due after that. Offsetting this, it had RM2.20b in cash and RM1.51b in receivables that were due within 12 months. So it has liabilities totalling RM3.68b more than its cash and near-term receivables, combined.

Given IOI Corporation Berhad has a market capitalization of RM28.6b, it's hard to believe these liabilities pose much threat. However, we do think it is worth keeping an eye on its balance sheet strength, as it may change over time.

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). This way, we consider both the absolute quantum of the debt, as well as the interest rates paid on it.

We'd say that IOI Corporation Berhad's moderate net debt to EBITDA ratio ( being 1.5), indicates prudence when it comes to debt. And its strong interest cover of 10.9 times, makes us even more comfortable. On top of that, IOI Corporation Berhad grew its EBIT by 37% over the last twelve months, and that growth will make it easier to handle its debt. When analysing debt levels, the balance sheet is the obvious place to start. But it is future earnings, more than anything, that will determine IOI Corporation Berhad's ability to maintain a healthy balance sheet going forward. So if you're focused on the future you can check out this free report showing analyst profit forecasts.

Finally, a business needs free cash flow to pay off debt; accounting profits just don't cut it. So it's worth checking how much of that EBIT is backed by free cash flow. During the last three years, IOI Corporation Berhad produced sturdy free cash flow equating to 59% of its EBIT, about what we'd expect. This free cash flow puts the company in a good position to pay down debt, when appropriate.

Our View

IOI Corporation Berhad's EBIT growth rate suggests it can handle its debt as easily as Cristiano Ronaldo could score a goal against an under 14's goalkeeper. And that's just the beginning of the good news since its interest cover is also very heartening. Zooming out, IOI Corporation Berhad seems to use debt quite reasonably; and that gets the nod from us. While debt does bring risk, when used wisely it can also bring a higher return on equity. When analysing debt levels, the balance sheet is the obvious place to start. However, not all investment risk resides within the balance sheet - far from it. To that end, you should learn about the 2 warning signs we've spotted with IOI Corporation Berhad (including 1 which is potentially serious) .

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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