Does Mirbud (WSE:MRB) Have A Healthy Balance Sheet?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
January 13, 2022
WSE:MRB
Source: Shutterstock

Some say volatility, rather than debt, is the best way to think about risk as an investor, but Warren Buffett famously said that '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. We note that Mirbud S.A. (WSE:MRB) does have debt on its balance sheet. But is this debt a concern to shareholders?

Why Does Debt Bring Risk?

Debt assists a business until the business has trouble paying it off, either with new capital or with free 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. Of course, debt can be an important tool in businesses, particularly capital heavy businesses. When we examine debt levels, we first consider both cash and debt levels, together.

See our latest analysis for Mirbud

What Is Mirbud's Net Debt?

You can click the graphic below for the historical numbers, but it shows that as of September 2021 Mirbud had zł350.9m of debt, an increase on zł232.7m, over one year. On the flip side, it has zł285.5m in cash leading to net debt of about zł65.4m.

debt-equity-history-analysis
WSE:MRB Debt to Equity History January 13th 2022

A Look At Mirbud's Liabilities

We can see from the most recent balance sheet that Mirbud had liabilities of zł703.2m falling due within a year, and liabilities of zł671.0m due beyond that. Offsetting these obligations, it had cash of zł285.5m as well as receivables valued at zł558.2m due within 12 months. So its liabilities outweigh the sum of its cash and (near-term) receivables by zł530.5m.

Given this deficit is actually higher than the company's market capitalization of zł420.2m, we think shareholders really should watch Mirbud's debt levels, like a parent watching their child ride a bike for the first time. 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.

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

Mirbud has a low debt to EBITDA ratio of only 0.39. But the really cool thing is that it actually managed to receive more interest than it paid, over the last year. So there's no doubt this company can take on debt while staying cool as a cucumber. Better yet, Mirbud grew its EBIT by 243% last year, which is an impressive improvement. If maintained that growth will make the debt even more manageable in the years ahead. When analysing debt levels, the balance sheet is the obvious place to start. But it is Mirbud'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 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, Mirbud 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.

Our View

The good news is that Mirbud's demonstrated ability to cover its interest expense with its EBIT delights us like a fluffy puppy does a toddler. But we must concede we find its level of total liabilities has the opposite effect. Looking at all the aforementioned factors together, it strikes us that Mirbud can handle its debt fairly comfortably. Of course, while this leverage can enhance returns on equity, it does bring more risk, so it's worth keeping an eye on this one. Above most other metrics, we think its important to track how fast earnings per share is growing, if at all. If you've also come to that realization, you're in luck, because today you can view this interactive graph of Mirbud's earnings per share history for free.

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.

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