Does Good Spirits Hospitality (NZSE:GSH) Have A Healthy Balance Sheet?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
May 17, 2021
NZSE:GSH
Source: Shutterstock

Warren Buffett famously said, 'Volatility is far from synonymous with risk.' 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. As with many other companies Good Spirits Hospitality Limited (NZSE:GSH) makes use of debt. But the more important question is: how much risk is that debt creating?

When Is Debt A Problem?

Generally speaking, debt only becomes a real problem when a company can't easily pay it off, either by raising capital or with its own cash flow. In the worst case scenario, a company can go bankrupt if it cannot pay its creditors. 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. 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. The first thing to do when considering how much debt a business uses is to look at its cash and debt together.

Check out our latest analysis for Good Spirits Hospitality

How Much Debt Does Good Spirits Hospitality Carry?

You can click the graphic below for the historical numbers, but it shows that as of December 2020 Good Spirits Hospitality had NZ$27.0m of debt, an increase on NZ$25.3m, over one year. However, it also had NZ$3.10m in cash, and so its net debt is NZ$23.9m.

debt-equity-history-analysis
NZSE:GSH Debt to Equity History May 18th 2021

How Strong Is Good Spirits Hospitality's Balance Sheet?

We can see from the most recent balance sheet that Good Spirits Hospitality had liabilities of NZ$6.10m falling due within a year, and liabilities of NZ$38.8m due beyond that. Offsetting these obligations, it had cash of NZ$3.10m as well as receivables valued at NZ$155.8k due within 12 months. So its liabilities total NZ$41.6m more than the combination of its cash and short-term receivables.

The deficiency here weighs heavily on the NZ$4.39m company itself, as if a child were struggling under the weight of an enormous back-pack full of books, his sports gear, and a trumpet. So we definitely think shareholders need to watch this one closely. At the end of the day, Good Spirits Hospitality would probably need a major re-capitalization if its creditors were to demand repayment.

In order to size up a company's debt relative to its earnings, we calculate its net debt divided by its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) and its earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) divided by its interest expense (its interest cover). This way, we consider both the absolute quantum of the debt, as well as the interest rates paid on it.

Weak interest cover of 0.23 times and a disturbingly high net debt to EBITDA ratio of 12.8 hit our confidence in Good Spirits Hospitality like a one-two punch to the gut. This means we'd consider it to have a heavy debt load. Worse, Good Spirits Hospitality's EBIT was down 80% over the last year. If earnings continue to follow that trajectory, paying off that debt load will be harder than convincing us to run a marathon in the rain. When analysing debt levels, the balance sheet is the obvious place to start. But it is Good Spirits Hospitality'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.

Finally, a company can only pay off debt with cold hard cash, not accounting profits. So we always check how much of that EBIT is translated into free cash flow. In the last three years, Good Spirits Hospitality created free cash flow amounting to 16% of its EBIT, an uninspiring performance. For us, cash conversion that low sparks a little paranoia about is ability to extinguish debt.

Our View

On the face of it, Good Spirits Hospitality's EBIT growth rate left us tentative about the stock, and its level of total liabilities was no more enticing than the one empty restaurant on the busiest night of the year. And furthermore, its net debt to EBITDA also fails to instill confidence. We think the chances that Good Spirits Hospitality has too much debt a very significant. To our minds, that means the stock is rather high risk, and probably one to avoid; but to each their own (investing) style. 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. For example, we've discovered 4 warning signs for Good Spirits Hospitality (3 don't sit too well with us!) that you should be aware of before investing here.

If you're interested in investing in businesses that can grow profits without the burden of debt, then check out this free list of growing businesses that have net cash on the balance sheet.

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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. 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.
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