Are Energous Corporation’s (NASDAQ:WATT) Interest Costs Too High?

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Energous Corporation (NASDAQ:WATT), which has zero-debt on its balance sheet, can maximize capital returns by increasing debt due to its lower cost of capital. However, the trade-off is WATT will have to follow strict debt obligations which will reduce its financial flexibility. While WATT has no debt on its balance sheet, it doesn’t necessarily mean it exhibits financial strength. I will go over a basic overview of the stock’s financial health, which I believe provides a ballpark estimate of their financial health status.

Check out our latest analysis for Energous

Is WATT growing fast enough to value financial flexibility over lower cost of capital?

Debt capital generally has lower cost of capital compared to equity funding. Though, the trade-offs are that lenders require stricter capital management requirements, in addition to having a higher claim on company assets relative to shareholders. WATT’s absence of debt on its balance sheet may be due to lack of access to cheaper capital, or it may simply believe low cost is not worth sacrificing financial flexibility. However, choosing flexibility over capital returns is logical only if it’s a high-growth company. Opposite to the high growth we were expecting, WATT’s negative revenue growth of -61% hardly justifies opting for zero-debt. If the decline sustains, it may find it hard to raise debt at an acceptable cost.

NASDAQCM:WATT Historical Debt February 4th 19
NASDAQCM:WATT Historical Debt February 4th 19

Does WATT’s liquid assets cover its short-term commitments?

Since Energous doesn’t have any debt on its balance sheet, it doesn’t have any solvency issues, which is a term used to describe the company’s ability to meet its long-term obligations. However, another measure of financial health is its short-term obligations, which is known as liquidity. These include payments to suppliers, employees and other stakeholders. Looking at WATT’s US$3.8m in current liabilities, it appears that the company has maintained a safe level of current assets to meet its obligations, with the current ratio last standing at 7.82x. However, many consider a ratio above 3x to be high.

Next Steps:

Having no debt on the books means WATT has more financial freedom to keep growing at its current fast rate. Since there is also no concerns around WATT’s liquidity needs, this may be its optimal capital structure for the time being. Moving forward, its financial position may change. I admit this is a fairly basic analysis for WATT’s financial health. Other important fundamentals need to be considered alongside. I recommend you continue to research Energous to get a better picture of the stock by looking at:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for WATT’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for WATT’s outlook.
  2. Historical Performance: What has WATT’s returns been like over the past? Go into more detail in the past track record analysis and take a look at the free visual representations of our analysis for more clarity.
  3. Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore our free list of these great stocks here.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.