The direct benefit for Utah Medical Products, Inc. (NASDAQ:UTMD), which sports a zero-debt capital structure, to include debt in its capital structure is the reduced cost of capital. However, the trade-off is UTMD will have to adhere to stricter debt covenants and have less financial flexibility. Zero-debt can alleviate some risk associated with the company meeting debt obligations, but this doesn’t automatically mean UTMD has outstanding 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.
Is UTMD growing fast enough to value financial flexibility over lower cost of capital?
Debt funding can be cheaper than issuing new equity due to lower interest cost on debt. But the downside of having debt in a company’s balance sheet is the debtholder’s higher claim on its assets in the case of liquidation, as well as stricter capital management requirements. The lack of debt on UTMD’s balance sheet may be because it does not have access to cheap capital, or it may believe this trade-off is not worth it. Choosing financial flexibility over capital returns make sense if UTMD is a high-growth company. UTMD’s revenue growth over the past year is a single-digit 5.9% which is relatively low for a small-cap company. While its low growth hardly justifies opting for zero-debt, the company may have high growth projects in the pipeline to justify the trade-off.
Does UTMD’s liquid assets cover its short-term commitments?
Given zero long-term debt on its balance sheet, Utah Medical Products has no solvency issues, which is used to describe the company’s ability to meet its long-term obligations. But another important aspect of financial health is liquidity: the company’s ability to meet short-term obligations, including payments to suppliers and employees. With current liabilities at US$4.8m, it seems that the business has been able to meet these obligations given the level of current assets of US$59m, with a current ratio of 12.38x. Having said that, a ratio above 3x may be considered excessive by some investors, yet this is not usually a major negative for a company.
UTMD is a fast-growing firm, which supports having have zero-debt and financial freedom to continue to ramp up growth. This may mean this is an optimal capital structure for the business, given that it is also meeting its short-term commitment. In the future, its financial position may be different. Keep in mind I haven’t considered other factors such as how UTMD has been performing in the past. I suggest you continue to research Utah Medical Products to get a better picture of the stock by looking at:
- Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for UTMD’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for UTMD’s outlook.
- Valuation: What is UTMD worth today? Is the stock undervalued, even when its growth outlook is factored into its intrinsic value? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether UTMD is currently mispriced by the market.
- 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 email@example.com.