How Financially Strong Is ZK International Group Co., Ltd. (NASDAQ:ZKIN)?

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ZK International Group Co., Ltd. (NASDAQ:ZKIN) is a small-cap stock with a market capitalization of US$24m. While investors primarily focus on the growth potential and competitive landscape of the small-cap companies, they end up ignoring a key aspect, which could be the biggest threat to its existence: its financial health. Why is it important? Evaluating financial health as part of your investment thesis is crucial, since poor capital management may bring about bankruptcies, which occur at a higher rate for small-caps. Here are few basic financial health checks you should consider before taking the plunge. Nevertheless, since I only look at basic financial figures, I suggest you dig deeper yourself into ZKIN here.

Does ZKIN produce enough cash relative to debt?

ZKIN’s debt levels have fallen from US$29m to US$23m over the last 12 months , which is mainly comprised of near term debt. With this reduction in debt, ZKIN currently has US$8.5m remaining in cash and short-term investments , ready to deploy into the business. Moving onto cash from operations, its small level of operating cash flow means calculating cash-to-debt wouldn’t be too useful, though these low levels of cash means that operational efficiency is worth a look. As the purpose of this article is a high-level overview, I won’t be looking at this today, but you can examine some of ZKIN’s operating efficiency ratios such as ROA here.

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

Looking at ZKIN’s US$39m in current liabilities, the company has been able to meet these commitments with a current assets level of US$64m, leading to a 1.64x current account ratio. Generally, for Metals and Mining companies, this is a reasonable ratio since there’s a sufficient cash cushion without leaving too much capital idle or in low-earning investments.

NASDAQCM:ZKIN Historical Debt February 15th 19
NASDAQCM:ZKIN Historical Debt February 15th 19

Can ZKIN service its debt comfortably?

With debt reaching 62% of equity, ZKIN may be thought of as relatively highly levered. This is not uncommon for a small-cap company given that debt tends to be lower-cost and at times, more accessible. No matter how high the company’s debt, if it can easily cover the interest payments, it’s considered to be efficient with its use of excess leverage. A company generating earnings after interest and tax at least three times its net interest payments is considered financially sound. In ZKIN’s case, the ratio of 7.83x suggests that interest is appropriately covered, which means that lenders may be inclined to lend more money to the company, as it is seen as safe in terms of payback.

Next Steps:

Although ZKIN’s debt level is towards the higher end of the spectrum, its cash flow coverage seems adequate to meet obligations which means its debt is being efficiently utilised. This may mean this is an optimal capital structure for the business, given that it is also meeting its short-term commitment. I admit this is a fairly basic analysis for ZKIN’s financial health. Other important fundamentals need to be considered alongside. I suggest you continue to research ZK International Group to get a better picture of the small-cap by looking at:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for ZKIN’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for ZKIN’s outlook.
  2. Historical Performance: What has ZKIN’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.