We Think Randstad (AMS:RAND) Can Manage Its Debt With Ease

Published
June 12, 2022
ENXTAM:RAND
Source: Shutterstock

Warren Buffett famously said, 'Volatility is far from synonymous with risk.' 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. Importantly, Randstad N.V. (AMS:RAND) does carry debt. But should shareholders be worried about its use of debt?

When Is Debt A Problem?

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. Ultimately, if the company can't fulfill its legal obligations to repay debt, shareholders could walk away with nothing. However, a more common (but still painful) scenario is that it has to raise new equity capital at a low price, thus permanently diluting shareholders. 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 Randstad

What Is Randstad's Debt?

You can click the graphic below for the historical numbers, but it shows that as of March 2022 Randstad had €308.0m of debt, an increase on €235.0m, over one year. However, it does have €548.0m in cash offsetting this, leading to net cash of €240.0m.

debt-equity-history-analysis
ENXTAM:RAND Debt to Equity History June 12th 2022

A Look At Randstad's Liabilities

We can see from the most recent balance sheet that Randstad had liabilities of €5.80b falling due within a year, and liabilities of €974.0m due beyond that. On the other hand, it had cash of €548.0m and €5.70b worth of receivables due within a year. So it has liabilities totalling €530.0m more than its cash and near-term receivables, combined.

Since publicly traded Randstad shares are worth a total of €9.23b, it seems unlikely that this level of liabilities would be a major threat. However, we do think it is worth keeping an eye on its balance sheet strength, as it may change over time. Despite its noteworthy liabilities, Randstad boasts net cash, so it's fair to say it does not have a heavy debt load!

In addition to that, we're happy to report that Randstad has boosted its EBIT by 92%, thus reducing the spectre of future debt repayments. When analysing debt levels, the balance sheet is the obvious place to start. But it is future earnings, more than anything, that will determine Randstad'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.

But our final consideration is also important, because a company cannot pay debt with paper profits; it needs cold hard cash. While Randstad has net cash on its balance sheet, it's still worth taking a look at its ability to convert earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) to free cash flow, to help us understand how quickly it is building (or eroding) that cash balance. Happily for any shareholders, Randstad actually produced more free cash flow than EBIT over the last three years. That sort of strong cash generation warms our hearts like a puppy in a bumblebee suit.

Summing up

While it is always sensible to look at a company's total liabilities, it is very reassuring that Randstad has €240.0m in net cash. And it impressed us with free cash flow of €911m, being 139% of its EBIT. So is Randstad's debt a risk? It doesn't seem so to us. 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. For example - Randstad has 1 warning sign we think you should be aware of.

Of course, if you're the type of investor who prefers buying stocks without the burden of debt, then don't hesitate to discover our exclusive list of net cash growth stocks, today.

Discounted cash flow calculation for every stock

Simply Wall St does a detailed discounted cash flow calculation every 6 hours for every stock on the market, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any company just search here. It’s FREE.

Make Confident Investment Decisions

Simply Wall St's Editorial Team provides unbiased, factual reporting on global stocks using in-depth fundamental analysis.
Find out more about our editorial guidelines and team.