Stock Analysis

We Think Streamline Health Solutions (NASDAQ:STRM) Has A Fair Chunk Of Debt

NasdaqCM:STRM
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Legendary fund manager Li Lu (who Charlie Munger backed) once said, 'The biggest investment risk is not the volatility of prices, but whether you will suffer a permanent loss of capital.' 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, Streamline Health Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ:STRM) does carry debt. But the real question is whether this debt is making the company risky.

When Is Debt A Problem?

Debt is a tool to help businesses grow, but if a business is incapable of paying off its lenders, then it exists at their mercy. Part and parcel of capitalism is the process of 'creative destruction' where failed businesses are mercilessly liquidated by their bankers. 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. When we examine debt levels, we first consider both cash and debt levels, together.

See our latest analysis for Streamline Health Solutions

What Is Streamline Health Solutions's Debt?

As you can see below, at the end of January 2022, Streamline Health Solutions had US$9.90m of debt, up from US$2.30m a year ago. Click the image for more detail. On the flip side, it has US$9.89m in cash leading to net debt of about US$19.0k.

debt-equity-history-analysis
NasdaqCM:STRM Debt to Equity History June 8th 2022

A Look At Streamline Health Solutions' Liabilities

Zooming in on the latest balance sheet data, we can see that Streamline Health Solutions had liabilities of US$13.5m due within 12 months and liabilities of US$14.3m due beyond that. On the other hand, it had cash of US$9.89m and US$4.67m worth of receivables due within a year. So its liabilities total US$13.2m more than the combination of its cash and short-term receivables.

While this might seem like a lot, it is not so bad since Streamline Health Solutions has a market capitalization of US$64.5m, and so it could probably strengthen its balance sheet by raising capital if it needed to. However, it is still worthwhile taking a close look at its ability to pay off debt. Carrying virtually no net debt, Streamline Health Solutions has a very light debt load indeed. There's no doubt that we learn most about debt from the balance sheet. But it is future earnings, more than anything, that will determine Streamline Health Solutions'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.

Over 12 months, Streamline Health Solutions reported revenue of US$17m, which is a gain of 53%, although it did not report any earnings before interest and tax. Shareholders probably have their fingers crossed that it can grow its way to profits.

Caveat Emptor

While we can certainly appreciate Streamline Health Solutions's revenue growth, its earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) loss is not ideal. Its EBIT loss was a whopping US$7.9m. Considering that alongside the liabilities mentioned above does not give us much confidence that company should be using so much debt. Quite frankly we think the balance sheet is far from match-fit, although it could be improved with time. Another cause for caution is that is bled US$5.0m in negative free cash flow over the last twelve months. So in short it's a really risky stock. When analysing debt levels, the balance sheet is the obvious place to start. However, not all investment risk resides within the balance sheet - far from it. Be aware that Streamline Health Solutions is showing 5 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 1 of those is significant...

When all is said and done, sometimes its easier to focus on companies that don't even need debt. Readers can access a list of growth stocks with zero net debt 100% free, right now.

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

Find out whether Streamline Health Solutions 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.