Is ENRA Group Berhad (KLSE:ENRA) A Risky Investment?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
November 16, 2021
KLSE:ENRA
Source: Shutterstock

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.' So it might be obvious that you need to consider debt, when you think about how risky any given stock is, because too much debt can sink a company. We can see that ENRA Group Berhad (KLSE:ENRA) does use debt in its business. But the real question is whether this debt is making the company risky.

Why Does Debt Bring Risk?

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. In the worst case scenario, a company can go bankrupt if it cannot pay its creditors. 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. Of course, plenty of companies use debt to fund growth, without any negative consequences. The first step when considering a company's debt levels is to consider its cash and debt together.

Check out our latest analysis for ENRA Group Berhad

What Is ENRA Group Berhad's Debt?

The image below, which you can click on for greater detail, shows that ENRA Group Berhad had debt of RM64.4m at the end of June 2021, a reduction from RM78.5m over a year. On the flip side, it has RM18.2m in cash leading to net debt of about RM46.2m.

debt-equity-history-analysis
KLSE:ENRA Debt to Equity History November 17th 2021

How Strong Is ENRA Group Berhad's Balance Sheet?

According to the last reported balance sheet, ENRA Group Berhad had liabilities of RM106.3m due within 12 months, and liabilities of RM18.3m due beyond 12 months. On the other hand, it had cash of RM18.2m and RM24.6m worth of receivables due within a year. So it has liabilities totalling RM81.8m more than its cash and near-term receivables, combined.

This is a mountain of leverage relative to its market capitalization of RM123.5m. Should its lenders demand that it shore up the balance sheet, shareholders would likely face severe dilution.

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

While we wouldn't worry about ENRA Group Berhad's net debt to EBITDA ratio of 3.5, we think its super-low interest cover of 1.5 times is a sign of high leverage. In large part that's due to the company's significant depreciation and amortisation charges, which arguably mean its EBITDA is a very generous measure of earnings, and its debt may be more of a burden than it first appears. So shareholders should probably be aware that interest expenses appear to have really impacted the business lately. Investors should also be troubled by the fact that ENRA Group Berhad saw its EBIT drop by 11% over the last twelve months. If that's the way things keep going handling the debt load will be like delivering hot coffees on a pogo stick. The balance sheet is clearly the area to focus on when you are analysing debt. But it is ENRA Group 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.

Finally, a business needs free cash flow to pay off debt; accounting profits just don't cut it. So the logical step is to look at the proportion of that EBIT that is matched by actual free cash flow. Happily for any shareholders, ENRA Group Berhad actually produced more free cash flow than EBIT over the last two years. That sort of strong cash conversion gets us as excited as the crowd when the beat drops at a Daft Punk concert.

Our View

ENRA Group Berhad's interest cover and EBIT growth rate definitely weigh on it, in our esteem. But its conversion of EBIT to free cash flow tells a very different story, and suggests some resilience. Taking the abovementioned factors together we do think ENRA Group Berhad's debt poses some risks to the business. So while that leverage does boost returns on equity, we wouldn't really want to see it increase from here. 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. Case in point: We've spotted 3 warning signs for ENRA Group Berhad you should be aware of, and 1 of them is a bit concerning.

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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