Does Ranpak Holdings (NYSE:PACK) Have A Healthy Balance Sheet?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
January 17, 2022
NYSE:PACK
Source: Shutterstock

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.' It's only natural to consider a company's balance sheet when you examine how risky it is, since debt is often involved when a business collapses. We can see that Ranpak Holdings Corp. (NYSE:PACK) does use debt in its business. But should shareholders be worried about its use of debt?

Why Does Debt Bring Risk?

Generally speaking, debt only becomes a real problem when a company can't easily pay it off, either by raising capital or with its own cash flow. Ultimately, if the company can't fulfill its legal obligations to repay debt, shareholders could walk away with nothing. 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, the upside of debt is that it often represents cheap capital, especially when it replaces dilution in a company with the ability to reinvest at high rates of return. 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 Ranpak Holdings

What Is Ranpak Holdings's Net Debt?

As you can see below, Ranpak Holdings had US$412.9m of debt at September 2021, down from US$442.2m a year prior. However, it does have US$110.4m in cash offsetting this, leading to net debt of about US$302.5m.

debt-equity-history-analysis
NYSE:PACK Debt to Equity History January 17th 2022

How Strong Is Ranpak Holdings' Balance Sheet?

According to the last reported balance sheet, Ranpak Holdings had liabilities of US$71.5m due within 12 months, and liabilities of US$519.5m due beyond 12 months. Offsetting this, it had US$110.4m in cash and US$54.0m in receivables that were due within 12 months. So its liabilities outweigh the sum of its cash and (near-term) receivables by US$426.6m.

Of course, Ranpak Holdings has a market capitalization of US$2.62b, so these liabilities are probably manageable. But there are sufficient liabilities that we would certainly recommend shareholders continue to monitor the balance sheet, going forward.

We use two main ratios to inform us about debt levels relative to earnings. The first is net debt divided by earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA), while the second is how many times its earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) covers its interest expense (or its interest cover, for short). Thus we consider debt relative to earnings both with and without depreciation and amortization expenses.

While Ranpak Holdings's debt to EBITDA ratio (3.1) suggests that it uses some debt, its interest cover is very weak, at 0.86, suggesting high leverage. In large part that's due to the company's significant depreciation and amortisation charges, which arguably mean its EBITDA is a very generous measure of earnings, and its debt may be more of a burden than it first appears. It seems clear that the cost of borrowing money is negatively impacting returns for shareholders, of late. Looking on the bright side, Ranpak Holdings boosted its EBIT by a silky 65% in the last year. Like a mother's loving embrace of a newborn that sort of growth builds resilience, putting the company in a stronger position to manage its debt. The balance sheet is clearly the area to focus on when you are analysing debt. But ultimately the future profitability of the business will decide if Ranpak Holdings 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 company can only pay off debt with cold hard cash, not accounting profits. So we always check how much of that EBIT is translated into free cash flow. Over the most recent three years, Ranpak Holdings recorded free cash flow worth 77% of its EBIT, which is around normal, given free cash flow excludes interest and tax. This cold hard cash means it can reduce its debt when it wants to.

Our View

The good news is that Ranpak Holdings's demonstrated ability to grow its EBIT delights us like a fluffy puppy does a toddler. But the stark truth is that we are concerned by its interest cover. Taking all this data into account, it seems to us that Ranpak Holdings takes a pretty sensible approach to debt. That means they are taking on a bit more risk, in the hope of boosting shareholder returns. There's no doubt that we learn most about debt from the balance sheet. But ultimately, every company can contain risks that exist outside of the balance sheet. For instance, we've identified 3 warning signs for Ranpak Holdings that you should be aware of.

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.

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