Stock Analysis

Profoto Holding (STO:PRFO) Has A Rock Solid Balance Sheet

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OM:PRFO
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David Iben put it well when he said, 'Volatility is not a risk we care about. What we care about is avoiding the 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. As with many other companies Profoto Holding AB (publ) (STO:PRFO) makes use of debt. But is this debt a concern to shareholders?

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. If things get really bad, the lenders can take control of the business. 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. 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 Profoto Holding

What Is Profoto Holding's Debt?

The image below, which you can click on for greater detail, shows that at September 2023 Profoto Holding had debt of kr83.0m, up from kr73.0m in one year. However, because it has a cash reserve of kr58.0m, its net debt is less, at about kr25.0m.

debt-equity-history-analysis
OM:PRFO Debt to Equity History January 24th 2024

A Look At Profoto Holding's Liabilities

Zooming in on the latest balance sheet data, we can see that Profoto Holding had liabilities of kr241.0m due within 12 months and liabilities of kr149.0m due beyond that. Offsetting these obligations, it had cash of kr58.0m as well as receivables valued at kr83.0m due within 12 months. So its liabilities outweigh the sum of its cash and (near-term) receivables by kr249.0m.

Since publicly traded Profoto Holding shares are worth a total of kr2.76b, it seems unlikely that this level of liabilities would be a major threat. But there are sufficient liabilities that we would certainly recommend shareholders continue to monitor the balance sheet, going forward. But either way, Profoto Holding has virtually no net debt, so it's fair to say it does not have a heavy debt load!

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). The advantage of this approach is that we take into account both the absolute quantum of debt (with net debt to EBITDA) and the actual interest expenses associated with that debt (with its interest cover ratio).

Profoto Holding has very little debt (net of cash), and boasts a debt to EBITDA ratio of 0.097 and EBIT of 18.8 times the interest expense. So relative to past earnings, the debt load seems trivial. Fortunately, Profoto Holding grew its EBIT by 4.6% in the last year, making that debt load look even more manageable. When analysing debt levels, the balance sheet is the obvious place to start. But ultimately the future profitability of the business will decide if Profoto Holding can strengthen its balance sheet over time. 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 we clearly need to look at whether that EBIT is leading to corresponding free cash flow. During the last three years, Profoto Holding generated free cash flow amounting to a very robust 82% of its EBIT, more than we'd expect. That positions it well to pay down debt if desirable to do so.

Our View

Profoto Holding's interest cover suggests it can handle its debt as easily as Cristiano Ronaldo could score a goal against an under 14's goalkeeper. And the good news does not stop there, as its conversion of EBIT to free cash flow also supports that impression! Looking at the bigger picture, we think Profoto Holding's use of debt seems quite reasonable and we're not concerned about it. While debt does bring risk, when used wisely it can also bring a higher return on equity. The balance sheet is clearly the area to focus on when you are analysing debt. But ultimately, every company can contain risks that exist outside of the balance sheet. For example, we've discovered 2 warning signs for Profoto Holding (1 is concerning!) that you should be aware of before investing here.

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.

Valuation is complex, but we're helping make it simple.

Find out whether Profoto Holding is potentially over or undervalued by checking out our comprehensive analysis, which includes fair value estimates, risks and warnings, dividends, insider transactions and financial health.

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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.